My Gift to You This Holiday Season



The Path of the Studio Owner is my brand new FREE e-book In it readers will hear from 18 studio-owning women, Yoga Life Style customers all, who share the secrets of their craft. If you or someone you know is thinking about opening or currently running a studio, I think there will be plenty in this e-book of interest to you or them.

Click the image above for more information and receive your FREE copy.

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Sri Dharma Mittra's 908 Yoga pose photos


Me
In Honor of Sri Dharma,  I decided to emulate the Black and White on the black background, wearing only a small swimsuit.

In doing this I also realized the dedication and effort he put in on making his well known poster, the 908 Posture Master Chart of the Asanas. He did this in the days when everything took days or weeks to develop and only then did you see if you needed to reshoot. Even seeing my shots immediately I can't come close to the perfection of Dharma's poses. I am sure there are very few who can.

The odd part here is that back in the days when I was at the studio, practitioners at all levels felt comfortable in Dharma's classes. There were strivers and advanced students to be sure. But there were slackers and inflexible folks too, who were just drawn to his message of love and acceptance and encouragement to go deep within.

 Though the postures are the calling card, the teachings are the real deal. Jai Dharma!

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Authentic Indian Malas



Our malas are made from native neem, rudraksha seeds, tulsi and red and yellow sandalwood. These are the traditional bead materials used in India. They wear beautifully when used for mantra repetition and look lovely when worn as decorations.

These Mala Beads come to us from Brindavan, India, where they have been hand crafted from local materials, and serve as an intrinsic part of the culture. Walking on the streets of Brindavan, you will see strings of Malas in hands, used to count repetitions of one-hundred-and-eight mantras, worn around the neck to remind the wearer of his or her inherent holy nature, and hung on statues of deities and on the corners of framed pictures of gurus and saints. Each string of Malas contains 108 beads, a number which holds manifold numerological and mythological significance within the Hindu tradition. For Hindus it is the number most connected to human life.


Rosewood, also known as Red Sandalwood, is considered by Indian culture to be deeply connected with the divine feminine, or Goddess energy. Wearing Rosewood Malas is said to enhance skin health, and improve circulation, and in so doing, bring out the beauty of the Goddess. It is also believed to strengthen the aura and to deflect negative energy.

Yellow Sandalwood is traditionally used in sacred ceremonies and to purify holy places. The word sandalwood in sanskrit is chandana and because of the high regard sandalwood is held in, all things excellent are referred to as chandana in sanskrit. The scent of sandalwood is used in meditation to clarify the mind and sharpen intelligence. At the same time it is calming and uplifting for mood fortifying courage, purpose, strength and happiness. Some of our beads are specially grooved to increase their surface area and release their pleasant aroma. We also have a less expensive Yellow Sandalwood. It has smooth beads, no knots between the beads and no tassel. This simplified mala has two threads which can be used to attach the "head bead" or pendant of your choice or can be snipped off if you prefer the necklace unadorned.

The Rosewood beads are about 5 mm in diameter. The length of the necklace is about 15.5 inches and contains 108 genuine Indian Rosewood (Red Sandalwood) beads. The grooved Yellow Sandalwood beads are about 7mm in diameter. The necklace is about 16 inches long and contains 108 genuine Indian Sandalwood beads. The smooth Yellow Sandalwood beads are about 6 mm in diameter. The necklace is about 12 inches long and contains 108 genuine Indian Sandalwood beads.

Our imported Malas from India are now on sale at 40% off and free shipping on retail orders of $50 (does not apply to multi piece discounts).

Click image above for more info and to purchase or click here.

Enjoy!

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My Growing Comfort in Today's Yoga World


There are two big breakthroughs I have to report today.  The first having to do with working on the poses and the second revolving around my growing comfort being a yoga model.
My happiness today at being able to accomplish so much of the listed postures is fed by my anticipation of not being able to do them at all. I haven't done Scorpion since before many of my colleagues in this challenge were born and frankly I was not sure I could do it again.  Much less all these variations, most of which I had never seen nor tried.  But each day I have been practicing and as they say, "all is coming".  I am amazed at how much better I can do things today, and joyful that I feel so much more competent, than just 5 days ago.  You might not be able to see it but my face is a lot further from the floor today than it had been previously.  I'm getting more height because I am way more balanced and don't fear pressing up as much.  Plus I am finding that now that I have found equilibrium I am not muscling into the pose as much and it is way easier to do.  Wow.  Too bad you can't see my big smile in the picture.

The second piece is highly personal and I feel a little queasy sharing about it here.  I am trying to keep things real and this is up for me though, so here goes.  I am embarrassed by the bulge in my thermal underwear.  I almost reshot the shot.  Almost.  I have seen all manner of flesh out here both male and female, and all kinds of bulges and outlines and even full nudity before it got kicked off,  all from people with far more followers than me.  And I have rarely shown more than one perfect stranger at a time this much of what I've got  and never hundreds of people all at once.  This is why I like the old recommendation to wear loose comfortable clothing and I always  have done so in yoga class.  We yogis all used to dress in ways that were not revealing, but as yoga got more popular that changed.  I am sure I am still going to teach and take classes in clothes that don't reveal my junk.  Out here I will park my modesty in the interest of working at that edge and hoping to reach people who grew up in the yoga butt yoga world.  Hey, I have gotten used to doing scorpion and lot's of subtle and interesting variations in just a few days.  Hopefully, I can get used to this new level of public exposure in time as well.

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Stiff Scorpion


Pincha Scorpion.

My Scorpion doesn't have a lot of bend to it. Much of my former flexibility has returned during this three month period when I have been doing a challenge every three weeks or so. The one area that has resisted completely is my back bends.

Part of it is that I have never had great flexibility in that direction, part is that I haven't worked on my back bends much lately and part is that I now have 4 herniated discs in my back that I'm not sure are ready for deep work. Still, I am on a path of discovery, so I will weave the old cobra, locust bow sequence and fish, bridge, wheel back into my morning yoga and see what I learn. Wish me luck.

Peace Out Brothers and Sisters,

Ray

This post is part of a series. To learn more about the #FallIntoPincha Instagram challenge, see the first post here: Instagram Yoga Challenge Fall Into Pincha

I'd love to hear from you.  Please connect with me on the  Facebook Page and Instagram feed to get more Yoga wisdom, science, style, and fun everyday! And make sure to Subscribe to Everyday Yoga for more great posts like this one delivered to your inbox!