Back To The Basics – Niyama II

dog in the mountains

My dear Yogis and Yoginis,

The second of the Niyamas is called Santosha

“Be content with our dharma and karma.
A rich person as well as a beggar (and everyone in between) can find contentment by living in the moment. Avoid getting stuck in the
future desires or past memories and you will invite the Big Self to
direct and guide you trough life.”
~ Alan Finger 
(How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)

~  ~  ~ 

“Santosha means contentment. While the translation is a simple one to grasp, the practice of santosha is a challenge for many in today’s world. In the yoga context, contentment refers to detaching from our desires and cultivating an inner peace and joy that is not dependent on what is happening in our lives.

In Patanjali’s yoga sutras, attachment is often referred to as the basis of our unhappiness and discontent in life. It seems we are all on a search for happiness yet in our yoga study, we are reminded that happiness is not a ‘thing’ to attain. We can’t buy happiness or find it through the next job or a better relationship. Happiness is about finding
contentment in the now. That is santosha. It’s letting go of striving for what you don’t have and accepting with joy what you do.
Santosha is a peace inside that doesn’t change regardless of what is happening externally.

Mindfulness – the practice of conscious attention on the present
without judgment – is the key to santosha. When we are not
projecting into the future about what we want to happen, what we want to do or have; and when we are not dwelling in the past on what we should have done differently, we find contentment with what is right now.”

3 tips to practicing santosha in daily life:
– Get mindful
– Meditate
– Get grateful
~ Byron Yoga

“When your teacher starts yoga class by asking you to bring awareness to your breathing without trying to change it, have you noticed how easy it is in that moment to let go of your expectations and just enjoy being in your body? That is Santosha. 

In yoga sutra I.33, Patanjali describes this approach as keeping the mind “at peace”.
Here is a Sanskrit translation by Dr. Kausthub Desikachar:
If we can be happy for those who are happier than ourselves, offer compassion towards those who are not as happy as we are, show appreciation towards those whose actions are praiseworthy, and hold an attitude of equanimity
towards those who sin, our minds will remain at peace.
~ Brett Larkin

“It’s hard to see the goodness in yourself and others, let alone feel even fleeting moments of contentment, when you’re expending a lot of mental energy knocking yourself down. Perhaps it’s time to change your story. Humans are natural storytellers. …
Themes like “I am smart,” “I am pretty,” “I am unlovable,” and “I fail at relationships” are often the central plots to our story lines. What’s more, we often make choices that reinforce these beliefs,
selecting relationships, careers, and situations that confirm our
expectations and strengthen our stories.

You may not realize it, but these stories are the lenses through which we interpret the world. If your lens is green, everything looks green. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Likewise, if your story is negative, positivity is hard to come by.
No wonder santosha can seem like a pipe dream.

Is your default “This is hard, I can’t do this,” or is it “This is difficult, let’s see how I do with it today?”

Yoga practices like asana (postures) and dhyana (meditation) are
excellent places to examine your stories and observe how they affect your mood and attitude. Next time you’re on your meditation cushion or yoga mat (especially in the midst of a difficult pose!), take a moment to listen to your story. Is your default “This is hard, I can’t do this,” or is it “This is difficult, let’s see how I do with it today?” The way that you approach your practice is often a reflection of how you approach your life.

…With time and practice, you will distinguish between the stories you tell and the reality in front of you. Then you can begin to create
distance between your story and who you truly are.

…Once you shed your distorted lenses and self-doubting beliefs, there’s a good chance you’ll discover that you’re pretty awesome. And that the light burning within you is a far more accurate reflection of who you are than the stories you’ve been telling yourself. That is when santosha becomes possible.”
~ B Grace Bullock

Monday 26.09.
Aware & Mindful

Wednesday 28.09.
Breathe & Flow into Meditation
Slow Flow

Thursday 29.09.
Open Theme
Yogis Choice

Friday 30.09.

You are all truly amazing beings, I hope you feel that way about
yourself as well!




Back To The Basics – Niyama I


My dear Yogis and Yoginis,

The first of the Niyamas is Saucha
(Cleanliness & purity)

“Keep the body clean, but also purify the mind, speech and emotions. When what the senses bring in is pure (by looking for the good in others, speaking the truths, etc.), the mind is unfragmented and the little self merges into the Big Self.
~ Alan Finger 
(How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)

“Saucha calls us to strive for purity within the mind, body, and spirit. Saucha wants us to be free from the clutter of distraction.
It wants us to create internal clarity so that we can meet each moment with purpose. As saucha is the first of the five niyamas, we see how important it is to the yogic path.

The physical practice of yoga itself is saucha – yoga asana is meant to cleanse and purify the body. Pranayama – or yogic breathing
techniques – is also a form of saucha. Yoga philosophy teaches us that these processes are a necessary form of purification and release if we want to awaken the greatness of our spirits. 

We practice yoga so we can create more freedom in our bodies and promote our health. We meditate to cleanse our minds and open our hearts. We practice purity in our actions as a way to remove negativity from our relationships and the external world.

The practice of saucha can take many different forms. From an asana practice and a shower to a regular meditation routine.”
~ Brett Larkin

“… The real gift of saucha is the purification of our minds. It is our grand teacher of self-love, for it asks us to place our judgments aside, and take a deeper look at everything we have labeled as ‘impure’ about ourselves. That deep sadness that follows us around? The impatient streak? Those ‘dirty’ little habits we have when we are alone?
These seem to have no place on a sacred yogic path, but how wrong we are. The peacock’s tail feathers become brighter through digesting poisons. The lotus becomes more luminous the deeper the mud from which it springs. And so we too become closer to the radiant natural love that we are, when we stop pushing parts of ourselves away.

As Tara Brach, a yogi and meditation teacher, says in Radical
Acceptance: ‘Rather than trying to rid ourselves of an inherently
impure self, we (can) turn around and embrace this life in all its
realness – broken, messy, mysterious, and vibrantly alive.’
And, in another paradox, through our attempts to purify ourselves, we come to realize that there is nothing to purify at all. Purity is our very nature. Mud and all.”

4 Ways to Put Saucha Into Practice

1. Taking Care of the Body
(When we begin to let go of what we ‘think’ our body needs in order to become pure, then we can begin to hear what our body truly needs instead. …our self-care becomes self-love.)
2. Love Your ‘Mud’
(Make a list of all the things you dislike about yourself -your “poisons,” as Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron calls them – for it is here that our medicine lies. …)
3. Practicing Presence
(When we are present we bring purity to the moment. …)
4. On the Mat
(Whenever we step onto our mats we are practicing purification of our bodies. But we can also be purifying our minds by seeing how challenges in our yoga practice can become fuel for growth. … can we stop chastising ourselves for not living up to our ‘idea’ of a yogi?)
~ Helen Avery

Monday 19.09.
Let go & Listen to your body

Wednesday 21.09.
Embracing all of you

Thursday 22.09.
Open Theme
Yogis Choice

Friday 23.09.
Purity & Love is your nature
Slow Flow

Let’s take together the path from embracing ourself to loving ourself!




Back To The Basics V – Aparigraha


My dear Yogis and Yoginis,

This weeks theme is called Aparigraha
(Non-hoarding, non-attachment)

“It is okay to have things, but do not let them have you. Everything in life is rented. When stuck in the world of the little self, one attaches to feelings, people and things.
When immersed in the Big Self all neediness dissipates.”
~ Alan Finger 
(How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Aparigraha on the mat
It is on our mat—with our breath—that we begin to learn the lesson of aparigraha. During our asana practice, we have the opportunity to observe how fear and insecurity can restrict our life force, through our tendency to hold the breath in challenging moments.
Whereas through breathing deeply, we are able to flow smoothly from one posture to the next and enjoy the transitions and challenges that come with it.

Mat practice also lets us observe whether we are attached to achieving a certain level of success in our asana practice, in terms of how it will make us look or feel, or if we are clinging to our fears and holding ourselves back from giving 100% to the enjoyment of the posture.

5 ways of incorporating aparigraha into daily life
– Downsize, declutter, and practice minimalism
– Share with gratitude
– Forgive and let go
– Prioritize self-care
– Share and give away your rights too

Practicing aparigraha and living a life of simplicity does not mean that we don’t care for our loved ones or that we deprive ourselves of the comforts, pleasures, and joys of life. Neither does simplicity mean poverty. On the contrary, aparigraha frees us up to be immersed in
appreciation and reverence for our lives and relationships.
We are asked to let go of the craving and clinging, but not the
enjoyment. If you feel a lack in any area of life, immediately start
practicing aparigraha. It will not only bring abundance and freedom but will also nurture sharing and caring.

In short, go with the rhythm of life, and enjoy the ebb and flow of the moment. Take only what you need. Love with all of your heart.
But know that the only constant factor in life is change and to
experience life to the fullest, we need to stay present. Let go. Breathe.
~ Art of Living

Monday 12.09.
Free Flowing Breath
Slow Flow

Wednesday 14.09.
Smoothly Flowing from Asana to Asana
Continues Flow

Thursday 15.09.
Open Theme
Yogis Choice

Friday 16.09.
Enjoying Transitions & Challenges

A week of letting go with the breath leading!




Back To The Basics IV – Brahmacharya

one of Ahyoka’s cravings

My dear Yogis and Yoginis,

This week I want to share different thoughts on the forth yama

“Every three minutes mother earth desires to create. A tantric yogi must channel this energy for divine purposes. Make every thought, word and action sacred, avoiding fantasies that develop the little self’s world and keep one from living in the moment.”

~ Alan Finger 
(How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)

“Brahmacharya – the moderation of the senses – is one of the key
practices yoga offers for managing sensory cravings. It is the fourth of five yamas, or restraints, which help us cultivate self-awareness and transform habits that are out of sync with our spiritual aspirations.

Literally, brahmacharya translates as “walking in God-consciousness.” Practically speaking, this means that brahmacharya turns the mind
inward, balances the senses, and leads to freedom from dependencies and cravings.
Yogis tell us that when the mind is freed from domination
by the senses, sensory pleasures are replaced by inner joy.

Brahmacharya practices range from the very structured to the highly intuitive. A person who craves candy bars may need to impose a limit of one per day. Yet that double-decker chocolate cheesecake might be just right for a special occasion. In a world overwhelmed by stimuli, making wise choices about the books and magazines we read, the movies we watch, and the company we keep will help us conserve
energy and keep our mind focused and dynamic. Being moderate in sensory activities so that we don’t dwell on them, staying committed and faithful to one partner in a relationship that is mutually supportive – this is the middle path of brahmacharya.” 

~ Yoga International

Montag 05.09.
Flow into your Happy Place

Wednesday 07.09.
Heart-Breath Connection
Slow Flow

Thursday 08.09.
Open Theme
Yogis Choice

Friday 09.09.
Rock and Roll Flow

What are your cravings?



On this website we use first or third-party tools that store small files (cookie) on your device. Cookies are normally used to allow the site to run properly (technical cookies), to generate navigation usage reports (statistics cookies) and to suitable advertise our services/products (profiling cookies). We can directly use technical cookies, but you have the right to choose whether or not to enable statistical and profiling cookies. Enabling these cookies, you help us to offer you a better experience.