Asthanga Namaskar Eight Limbs Pose

From this position, lower yourself gently to the ground, touching your forehead, chest, and knees to the floor, while maintaining the bulk of your weight on your hands and toes. This is the eight limbs pose. The mantra acknowledges the nourishment the sun provides to all living beings on earth. It is associated with the solar plexus (energy) chakra and the Law of Intention and Desire. The mantra for the eight limbs pose is Om Pooshne Namaha.

Chakrasana Kneeling Wheel

From the spinal twist pose, roll your legs around so that you are on your knees with your feet close together behind you. Arch your back and grasp your right ankle with your right hand and your left ankle with your left hand. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling while allowing your head to relax backward. Breathe easily in this position for about ten seconds, then slowly lower your hips and raise yourself up, so you are again resting on your knees. Close your eyes and with your attention in...

The Sixth Center Intuition Chakra

The sixth energy center is sometimes known as the third eye. Located in the forehead, Ajna, as it is known in Sanskrit, is the center of insight and intuition. When this center is open, you have a deep sense of connection to your inner voice and feel guided in your choices. When it is blocked, there is a sense of self-doubt and distrust. The opening of this chakra is usually associated with a clear sense of connection to one's dharma or purpose in life. The Law of Dharma or Purpose in Life...

Pavanamuktasana Wind Relieving Pose

Begin by lying on your back, allowing your awareness to float through your body. if you notice any area of tension in this resting pose, have the intention to release it. Now take in a deep breath and bring your right knee up to your chest. Grasp your leg below the knee with both hands and gently bring your chin to your knee. Hold this position for a few moments, breathing easily and feeling the sensations in your body. After several breaths, slowly straighten your leg, exhaling as you return...

Law The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect

The third spiritual law of success pertains to karma, or cause and effect. Every action we take generates a force of energy that returns to us in kind as we sow, so we reap. When we consciously choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success. Although many people misinterpret the Law of Karma as imprisoning us in a cycle of unending reactivity, it is actually an assertion of human freedom. Karma implies the action of conscious...

Halasana Plow Pose

From the shoulder stand, gently lower your legs over and behind your head so you are touching the floor with your toes. If you cannot bring them all the way to the floor, lower them as far as you can. Place your arms alongside you, breathing easily, and feel the stretch in your spine and thighs. Bring your attention to your breathing and practice Ujjayi pranayama in this pose, audibly inhaling and exhaling with slightly constricted throat muscles. Slowly alternate between the shoulder stand and...

Acknowledgments

This book is woven with the love of many beloved souls who share our journey. We wish to thank our precious families, who lovingly support us in all the work we do Rita, Mallika, Sumant and Tara, Gotham and Candice Pam, Max, Sara, and Isabel. To Ray Chambers, Jose Busquets, Charley Paz, and Howard Simon for their unwavering support of the Chopra Center mission. To the John Wiley & Sons editorial team, Tom Miller and Kellam Ayres, for helping this book reach its full potential. To the...

Ekpadasana One Foot Posture

Standing with your feet together, extend both arms in front of you so your palms are facing downward with your index fingers together. Balancing on your right leg, partially bend your left knee, bringing your left leg in front of you. Find your point of stillness while maintaining balance on your right leg. once you feel stable, slowly bring your left leg behind you while flexing at the waist until your left leg is extended out parallel to the floor. While you balance on your right leg, your...

Index

Page numbers in italics refer to illustrations. Ajna intuition chakra , 88-89, 152 color of, 89 mantra to awaken, 89 Anahata heart chakra , 86-87 color of, 87 mantra for, 87 annamaya kosha, 16 benefits of performing, 39-40 chosen in Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga program, 40 defined, 122 Ashwa-sanchalanasana equestrian pose , 152-153, 153, 186, 188 Asthanga Namaskar eight limbs pose , 154, 154, 187 basis of, 66-67 attention, 45-46, 64, 68 and intention meditation, 95-96 Aum, 81, 90 autonomic...

Nadi Shodhana Channel Clearing Breath

Nadi Shodhana means clearing the channels of circulation and is sometimes known descriptively as alternate nostril breathing. This pranayama exercise has a quieting effect and is very helpful in reducing mental turbulence associated with anxiety and insomnia. In Nadi Shodhana, you use your right hand to control the flow of breath through your nostrils. Your thumb is positioned over the right nostril, while your third and fourth fingers are over the left. There are several different styles of...

Calming a Turbulent Mind

Your mind is a thought-generating organ. Thought forms perpetually arise in your awareness. If you try to stop your thoughts with the intention of creating stillness in your mind, your mental activity may quiet for a few moments, but it will almost certainly start up again at full speed. The activity in your mind is communicated to every cell in your body. When your mind is turbulent, your messenger molecules communicate turbulence to your cells, tissues, and organs. If you can quiet your mind,...

Pranayama and Bandhas

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open Breath is the essence of life. You inhale for the first time shortly after arriving in the world even before your umbilical cord is cut. From that moment on you take approximately seventeen thousand breaths each day, which over a lifetime totals about 500 million breaths. In your final moments on this planet, you exhale for the last time that breath defines the end of your life. Your breathing supports every experience you have from the...

Pranayama Breathing Exercises

You can learn a lot about life by paying attention to your breathing. Right now, take a deep breath in and hold it. Feel the increasing discomfort that builds as you resist the natural impulse to let go. When it becomes too uncomfortable, release your breath and notice the immediate relief that you feel. Holding on to anything when it is time to let go creates distress in your body and mind. Now take a breath, fully empty your lungs, and hold your breath. Become aware of the increasing...

Dandayamana Konasana Standing Angle Pose

Standing with your legs apart and your arms outstretched at shoulder height parallel to the floor, slowly bend forward, grasping your ankles with your hands. If you cannot reach as far as your ankles, grasp your legs as close to your ankles as you can. Now gently pull your head down toward the floor while you press your hips upward. Hold this position for about ten seconds while slowly inhaling and exhaling, using your breath to surrender further into the pose. Slowly return to an upright...

So Hum Meditation

Every meditation technique offers something of value to the mind and body. We believe that procedures that quiet your mind allow you to glimpse the silent space between thoughts and help expand consciousness and heal the body. A very simple, effective, and easily learned meditation technique uses the breath along with a breathing mantra to quiet the mind and relax the body. If you are unable to receive personal instruction from a Primordial Sound Meditation teacher, the So Hum meditation...

Law The Law of Least Effort

The Law of Least Effort states that nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease. If you look at the ebb and flow of the tides, the blossoming of a flower, or the movement of the stars, you do not see nature straining. There is rhythm and balance in the natural world, and when you are in harmony with nature, you can make use of the Law of Least Effort by minimizing your effort and maximizing your effect. When a Newtonian model of the world predominated in our collective awareness, the...

Dandayamana Dhanurasana Standing Bow Pose

Stand with your feet together with both arms straight in front of you, palms facing downward. Bending your left knee, reach behind you with your left hand and grasp your left ankle. Flexing forward at the waist, pull your left leg upward as far as you can comfortably stretch it, keeping your right hand forward and parallel to the floor. You should feel a stretch in your thigh muscles. If you cannot maintain your balance without holding on, grab onto the back of a chair with your hand until you...