Category Archives: Nutrition Blogs

Home / Archive by category "Nutrition Blogs"

Yogi Detox Drink

The drink that your body will thank you for!


Yoga cleanse drink

tumeric-juice
This holiday season with all of the family gatherings,
it is quite typical for someone in your family to eat too much.
I want to share with you that there is something you can do about it
(besides sitting on the couch in a sub catatonic state).


Your immune system and your health depend on healthy elimination of toxins from your body, as you can only contain so many damaging substances before your system slows down and starts to produce symptoms of illness. It is estimated that over 90% of diseases can be attributed directly or indirectly to an unhealthy digestive system and the foods that are presented to it. Its so common for people to get sick right after Thanksgiving.


This may be due to the overeating, the crazy food combining mixed with the late night eating & over sleeping. (and perhaps a little alcohol was thrown into the mix too…only weakening the digestive system) But, you had fun, right?


All of our physical and mental health is a direct result of our diet. Food has life force, what we call prana, energy that comes from the sun and from the earth. From heaven and earth this life energy comes to us and then becomes a part of us. We have our most intimate moments not with people, please understand, our most intimate moments are with food. What we eat becomes us.
As my yoga teacher Dharma Mittra says, you eat fried food, you feel fried. You eat cooked food, you feel cooked. You eat live food and you become alive. Sometimes, even the purest of yogis can slip and eat something that they may regret later.


Please do not cry too much over eating too much, I have a solution. This drink is a very special drink for many ailments afflicting people today. Thee are so many ailments this may alleviate, but theres way too many for me to even list. Today we will focus on the digestive enhancement from this magical drink. 


Yogi detox drink
tumeric juice
Ingredients:
1. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
2. 1/2 cup honey
3. 2 lemons, juiced or 1/3 cup lemon (*or more)
4. Tumeric root, 3-4 3” pieces *
5. Ginger root , 3-4 3” pieces *
6. Noni juice- 1 cup
7. small red fresh chilis*


Only use fresh, organic ingredients. Please avoid the use of powders. Blend all these ingredients in blender. To assure that everything blended properly, It is best to use a Blend Tec or a Vitamix blender. Other blenders may require you to chop the ginger & tumeric into smaller pieces to assure it blends. DO NOT ADD WATER. 
Strain the pulp. I use a paint strainer bag from the hardware store. Put into a glass jar. If you use a mason jar, do not use the metal cap. This drink makes the cap rust. 
 Keep the liquid in a bottle, in the fridge & consume 1TBSP after meals.


Here is why this drink is so good for you.
Apple cider vinegar assists digestion. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to relieve hiccups. It may help cut fats and assist the fat metabolism, and science is even researching how apple cider vinegar may assist to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Apple cider is great for the liver, the gall bladder and really helps a lot with digestive issues such as bloating. 
 Honey has anti bacterial and anti microbial properties.
Honey has enzymes which assist in digestion, and its a healthy thing that tastes really really good. (which is so great) Make sure you always buy organic, raw, and unheated honey.


Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are supported in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a detoxifying, cleansing agent. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also has been shown to reduce mental stress and depression.


Tumeric has been used in foods for thousands of years. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Tumeric has been reported to assist in lowering cholesterol, detoxify the liver, be an aid in weight loss, to be an antinflammatory and has been used to treat depression. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger has a natural heating tendency and is very good to keep you warmed up in cooler climates.


Ginger is a known anti inflammatory and a digestive tonic. It soothes a scratchy throat, helps motion sickness, seasickness and morning sickness. It contains anti viral, anti fungal and can help prevent colds. Ginger is a good antihistamine and is used in the treatment of allergies. Ginger displays anti inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAID’s that are traditionally prescribed. The ancient Greeks used to eat ginger after a large meal in order to ease the digestion process. Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger protects against the development of ulcers, unwanted holes in the lining of your stomach. Ginger has proven to help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of blood clots. Ginger is often used to settle an upset stomach or treat severe stomach ailments such as dyspepsia or colic.


Noni is a fruit native to Hawaii and other tropical places. It is a great digestive tonic as it is very high in enzymes. Noni is very high in minerals and vitamins. It is a true superfood. Noni has been used to assist with sugar metabolism issues such as diabetes. It can be found bottled as a juice in the health food store.


Chilis create the heat needed to fire up the digestion and helps metabolize fats in the body. Chilis burn fats and help the blood move through the circulatory system.
Enjoy your special drink. This drink tastes great. Kids, as well as the most finicky eaters love it.
Its great before meals, after meals, on your fasting days, as well as on your feasting days. 
Remember, its all about BALANCE. right?


Written by Mary Grace read more about Mary Grace & her many blogs www.yoga-oasis.com
Share this:

Maui Superfoods

Maui Superfoods

written by Mary Grace

Join us at Maui Hot Yoga on the beautiful island of Maui.  Maui is magical with its healthy volcanic soil,  lots of sunshine,  and all year growing seasons. There are many amazing foods grow right here on this amazingly healthy land.


 

raw-food1Enjoy superfoods such as mango, papaya, pineapple, cacao, and all sorts of greens grown right here, on MAUI.

Eat local, live healthy.

Mary Grace is a certified Nutritionist and has been involved in the health field for since 1990.
 She lived with Dr. Gabriel Cousins at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Az in 2000.
She also completed the Ann Wigmore Living Foods Counselor training in 2005.


Depending on what program you join us for, we can enjoy daily superfood smoothies, daily green juices, live foods & tonic’s to boost your immune system, to help you shed weight and detox, and to feel your best ever.


We have juicers, vita mix’s, dehydrators and all the tools needed to live on the best superfoods ever!

Feel the best ever, by eating the best ever!


Excerpts from our book-

7 Day enlightenment cleanse.

Enlightenment means to get light, or to bring light to ones self.


They Yogis and Mystics, the Sages thru ought the ages have all dedicated their lives to becoming enlightened, some have attained, some have not, but they all have left behind stories of their journey towards this sacred place, this state of enlightenment.


I invite you to open your heart and your mind to this concept that maybe you, yes you, could actually become enlightened yourself. Ask yourself, what do you think it feels like to become enlightened? I would think it feels very light. Well, how do you become light? By enlightening up! I am offering you here a guidebook on how to start your journey towards enlightenment. The first step is to imagine what it means to become enlightened, and then imagine yourself becoming that. Henry Ford said, weather you think you can, or think you cant, either way you are right! Why not be right about feeling light? It is only what we believe that we can achieve. This is the beginning. See it, be it, live it, feel it.


Being enlightened can mean different things to different people.

Lets keep it very simple here. Lets work on enlightening the easiest part of your life.  enlighten Your diet. Open your mind and your heart. To do so you must open up your digestive system to be able to digest more from your life. The only reason you don’t feel enlightened already is because you are eating very poor quality foods with a very low vibration. The only reason you are eating unhealthy foods is because you have disconnected yourself to what and who you truly are. You keep looking outside of yourself for the answers and you have completely forgotten how to look within. Then you get caught up in years and years of poor eating habits which become a vicious cycle. You don’t feel good, you eat more, then you don’t feel good and this continues for years, decades, lifetimes. until one day your higher self says, hey, its time to enlighten up!


According to the writings of Immanuel Kant from 1784, “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use ones understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! DARE TO KNOW! Have courage to use your own understanding! This is the motto of enlightenment!
He goes on to say,


“If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me.”


The most important point about becoming enlightened, and to becoming whole, is to learn how to trust yourself. To learn how to purify yourself through a clean diet and then your intuition will be from a place of clarity.


According to the most ancient book on yoga, the Yoga Sutras, there are 5 predictable obstacles of man on our path. The Yoga Sutras is thought to be written over three thousand years ago and has been handed down from Guru to Disciple since then. The Yoga Sutras are filled with timeless wisdom on how to find peace in this world.


These obstacles as written in the Yoga Sutras are Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground, slipping from the ground gained. Accompaniments of these obstacles are distress, despair, trembling of the body & disturbed breathing. There is a fundamental simplicity to the process of Yoga that is outlined in the Yoga Sutras. While the process might appear very complicated when reading the Yoga Sutras and many commentaries, the central theme is one of removing, transcending or setting aside the obstacles, veils or false identities. The many suggestions in the Yoga Sutras are the details or refinements of how to go about doing this. By being ever mindful of this core simplicity it is much easier to systematically progress on the path of Yoga.


The true Self shines through: Once the obstacles and false identities have been temporarily set aside, the true Self, which has been there all along, naturally comes shining through (sutra 1.3). The rest of the time, we are so entangled with our false identities that we literally do not see that this misidentification has happened. It is the reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep, and that we need to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga.


So finding focus is the answer. How you find this focus is up to you.


If the mind is focused, then it is far less likely to get entangled and lost in the mire of delusion that can come from these obstacles.


Find the path, and stay on it.

You could focus on your breath, you could focus on a goal, you could focus on a saying.


Remember one truth or object: Repeatedly remember one aspect of truth, or one object (1.32). It may be any object, including one of the several that are suggested in the coming sutras (1.33-1.39). It may be related to your religion, an aspect of your own being, a principle, or some other pleasing object. It may be a mantra, short prayer, or affirmation. While there is great breadth of choice in objects, a sincere aspirant will choose wisely the object for this practice, possibly along with the guidance of someone familiar with these practices.


 

Join us at Maui Hot Yoga for a cleansing retreat sometime soon.

visit www.mauihotyoga.com for more information.

juice

Smoothies- Drink it UP!

 

juice

DRINK it UP! written by Mary Grace
Smoothies are a yogis best friend. They are light & packed full of superfoods, vitamins & minerals. Read below for some basic smoothie facts.

 

  1. Fruit-It is very important to have your freezer stocked full of frozen fruits. Acai, a nutrient packed superfood, is packed with valuable nutrients along with blueberries, of course, all of the berries, peeled frozen bananas, and mango are all wonderful in your smoothie.

2.Protein powder. Our favorite protein powder is called Sun Warrior protein. At 85% protein, Sunwarrior has the highest (non soy) raw (not heated over 90 degrees) whole grain sprouted vegan protein on the market. It has a 98% correlation rate to Mother’s Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it have one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy) http://www.sunwarrior.com/products/sunwarrior-protein

  1. Cacao powder-Cacao has many health benefits.
    Of course, it’s well known benefit is the amazing amount of energy you can get from cacao. Adding this to your smoothies may help you to lay off the coffee and the other harmful types of morning boosters.
    Cacao is very high in antioxidants, which can help the body in a great many ways. Antioxidants are used in the body much like you would use something to prevent rust on your car. Oxidation in the body creates a reaction very similar to the rusting and the corroding of metals. The antioxidants in cacao can prevent the oxidation of LDL- cholesterol, which is helpful in the protection against heart disease. Eating cacao may help lower blood pressure, boost normal responses to insulin to keep blood sugar levels down, and improve blood vessel function in patients with high blood pressure. Cacao is very high in magnesium. Magnesium is helpful in many health conditions because it helps muscles to relax. Cacao has so many healthy benefits it’s obvious why it is so popular all over the world. Cacao’s worldwide popularity can be because the cravings for chocolate are really cravings for the much needed mineral magnesium.
    Yes, you can have chocolate for breakfast. Its good for you.
  2. Blue green algae powder- Blue green algae is high in very assailable protein. The amino acid profile for blue green algae is very similar to the amino acid needs of humans. It seems blue green algae is the best form of protein for humans. Having the right protein in the morning makes you feel fulfilled longer, so your tendency to sway off the diet is lessened. People taking blue green algae have reported an overall increase in short and long term memory & they have greater ability at problem solving. Klamath lake blue green algae is a vegetarian assailable form of vitamin B12. Klamath lake blue green algae is one of natures most complete foods.
  3. MSM powder- methyl sulfonyl methane
    MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) MSM is thought to work by contributing sulfur compounds within cells. Two small studies suggest MSM may reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM helps your skin, nails, muscle & tissue.
    Approximately half of the total body sulfur is concentrated in the muscles, skin and bones. One of the most significant uses of MSM as a supplement is its demonstrated ability to relieve pain and inflammation. When rigid fibrous tissue cells swell and become inflamed, pressure and pain result.

MSM makes cell walls permeable, allowing water and nutrients to freely flow into cells and    allowing wastes and toxins to properly flow out.

  1. Maca- Maca is a superfood with an ability to increase energy, endurance and strength
    Peruvian research claims that maca improves memory, increases oxygen in the blood, improves the function of neurotransmitters and increases libido. One of the researchers heading current studies on maca, Peruvian biologist Gloria Chacon de Popivici, Ph.D., suggests that maca alkaloids act on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis and the adrenals. She has theorized that by activating these endocrine glands maca is able to increase energy, vitality and libido.
  2. Ginger- Powdered or fresh- Ginger has a natural heating tendency and is very good in cooler climates, or to simply assist your digestion of a frozen drink. Ginger is a known anti inflammatory and a digestive tonic. It sooths a scratchy throat, helps motion sickness, seasickness and morning sickness, it contains anti viral, anti fungal and can help prevent colds. Ginger is a good antihistamine and is used in the treatment of allergies. Ginger displays anti inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAID’s that are traditionally prescribed. The ancient Greeks used to eat ginger after a large meal in order to ease the digestion process. Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger protects against the development of ulcers, unwanted holes in the lining of your stomach. Ginger has proven to help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of blood clots. Ginger is often used to settle an upset stomach or treat severe stomach ailments such as dyspepsia or colic.
  3. Tumeric- Tumeric has been used in foods for thousands of years. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Tumeric has been reported to assist in lowering cholesterol, detoxifly the liver, be an aid in weight loss, to be an antinflammatory and has been used to treat depression. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tumeric has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

When is a good time to have a smoothie?

Depending on your workout schedule, you may either, wake up, drink your 2 liters of water, make your healing tea, workout and then have your smoothie. Or you may have your smoothie and then have your healing tea midday.

JUICING –

Juicing is when you extract the vital nutrients from fresh organic fruits & vegetables. Juices extract fresh enzymes from the foods and allow the body access to deeper levels of nutritive factors. You may juice citrus, like grapefruit and orange, or you may juice greens, like celery, apple & lemon. We will give you a daily juice recipe in this program.

After trying may juicers, we like the Jack La Lane Juicer the best. This juicer is simple to use & easy to clean. Fresh juices will help you receive the necessary enzymes to help the body reduce inflammation and receive tremendous amounts of vitamins and minerals. From covering these necessary nutritional bases each & every day your body will be less hungry as it has received what it is looking for early in the day. You will lose weight & feel great having a juice every day.

Tips for Juice Fasting:

See the Juice Fast Daily Plan for guidelines.

Drink at least 3-5 glasses of diluted juice per day. If you have any stomach pain, dilute further or “chew” it before swallowing to thoroughly mix with saliva. The actual amount of juice will be about half a quart per day.

While juice cleansing, drink a minimum of 2 quarts of purified water. You can add fresh squeezed lemon to this water, if desired.

One or two cups of herbal tea is recommended. You can use a stimulating one like green tea in the morning and a sleep-enhancing one like chamomile at night before bed.

While fresh juices should be consumed as soon as its juiced, don’t rush & drink in a hurry. Take the time to treat it as a “meal”, mixing it up with your saliva & digestive juices while paying attention to the physical sensations that come from the body’s receiving this nourishment.

Eating the juice with a spoon can help you slow down and feel fuller while giving the comfortable feeling of eating.

So, start your day with a smoothie or a juice. Try three to 5 days cleanses and see how you feel. Its been reported that drinking juices helps people feel better, and they even say they feel more flexible. Why not try the smoothie a day program & let us know how you feel.

Yoga Sutras blog 1

Yoga Sutras
YOGA PHILOSOPHY from our Yoga Teacher Training Manual-
To learn more, join us for a yoga teacher training soon!

Yoga Sutra 1.1 & 1.2

The first four sutras define Yoga, with that definition being expanded upon in the other sutras. In a systematic process of meditation, you gradually move your attention inward, through all the levels of your being, gaining mastery along the way. Eventually you come to rest in your true nature, which is beyond all of those levels. This action and the realization of this center of consciousness, is the meaning of Yoga.

Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah.

Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam.

Yoga is the mastery of the activities of the mind-field.

Then the seer rests in its true nature.

There is a fundamental simplicity to the process of Yoga that is outlined in the Yoga Sutras. While the process might appear very complicated when reading the Yoga Sutras and many commentaries, the central theme is one of removing, transcending or setting aside the obstacles, veils or false identities. The many suggestions in the Yoga Sutras are the details or refinements of how to go about doing this. By being ever mindful of this core simplicity it is much easier to systematically progress on the path of Yoga. Once the obstacles and false identities have been temporarily set aside, the true Self, which has been there all along, naturally comes shining through. The rest of the time, we are so entangled with our false identities that we literally do not see that this misidentification has happened. It is the reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep, and that we need to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga. Consciousness looks outward and sees a reflection, like a mirror. Consciousness looks outward, through the intellect, through the mind, and then through the senses and body. It sees a reflection, like a mirror. It sees reality, a world, a self-identity, which it falsely thinks to be “me” or “mine.” Through the forgetting power of avidya or ignorance, pure consciousness says, “I am this or that!” This is not all bad, for it gives the opportunity for the joy of awakening, through a journey called Yoga, returning to the wholeness that was never really divided in the first place.

The process of realization through Yoga rests on the discovery of pure consciousness, purusha, as separate from all the many false identities, which are considered to be a part of the evolution of primal matter, prakriti. These principles of purusha and prakriti are part of the philosophical system known as Sankhya.

Yoga and Sankhya are two of the six systems Indian philosophy. To put it simply, Purusha is consciousness and Prakriti is matter & form. Yogi’s observe the dance or purusha & prakriti in their daily lives.

Yoga is samadhi, the high state of perfected concentration or complete absorption of attention. Yoga means union, literally, to yoke, from the root yuj, which means to join or to integrate. It means to bring together the aspects of ourselves that were never divided in the first place. It means to attain direct experience of the core of that preexisting holistic being who we truly are at the deepest level, and that is attained through samadhi. The goal of Yoga is Yoga, period. Yoga is not: Yoga is not merely physical fitness, stress management, medical treatment, or a means of manifesting money, although authentic Yoga is definitely beneficial to many aspects of life.
The goal of Yoga is Yoga, the Highest Union.

Sutra 1.1 Now, after having done prior preparation through life and other practices, the study and practice of Yoga begins.

Atha Yoga Anushasanam

atha – now, at this auspicious moment; implying the transition to this practice and pursuit, after prior preparation; implying a blessing at this moment of transition

yoga – of yoga, union; literally, to yoke, from the root yuj, which means to join or to integrate; same as the absorption in Samadhi

anu – within, or following tradition; implies being subsequent to something else, in this case, the prior preparation

shasanam – instruction, discipline, training, teaching, exposition, explanation; Shas implies the imparting of teaching that happens along with discipline. This introductory sutra suggests that after our many actions in life, and whatever preparatory practices we might have performed, now, we are finally ready to pursue the depths of self-exploration, the journey directly to the center of consciousness, Atman, or Self, our eternal and True identity. To practice Yoga requires cultivating discipline and following a systematic method of learning. This has more to do with the quality or conviction in one’s practices than it has to do with the quantity. This is described in greater detail in sutras 1.21 and 1.22.
In describing this sutra, the sage Vyasa names five states of mind, of which the one-pointed state of mind is the desired state of mind for the practice of Yoga.
These five states of mind range from the severely troubled mind to the completely mastered mind.

Five states of mind according to Patanjali

1. Kshipta/disturbed

2. Mudha/dull

3. Vikshipta/distracted

4. Ekagra/one-pointed

5. Nirodhah/mastered

It is very useful to be aware of these stages, both in the moment, and as a general day-to-day level at which one is functioning. It reveals the depth of practice that one might be able to currently practice. Some aspect of yoga meditation applies to every human being, though we need to be mindful of which is most fitting and effective for a person with this or that state of mind.

Of the five states of mind, the later two, one-pointed and mastered are most desirable for the deeper practice of yoga meditation. For most people, our minds are usually in one of the first three states, disturbed, dull, or distracted. To deal with the troubled mind and the lethargic mind is progress, leading one to a merely distracted mind, from where one can more easily work on training the mind in one-pointedness. By knowing this, we can deal with our minds so as to gradually stabilize the mind in the fourth state, the state of one-pointedness This is the state of mind, which prepares us for the fifth state, in which there is mastery of mind.

Kshipta/disturbed: The ksihipta mind is disturbed, restless, troubled, wandering. This is the least desirable of the states of mind, in which the mind is troubled. It might be severely disturbed, moderately disturbed, or mildly disturbed. It might be worried, troubled, or chaotic. It is not merely the distracted mind (Vikshipta), but has the additional feature of a more intense, negative, emotional involvement.

Mudha/dull: The mudha mind is stupefied, dull, heavy, & forgetful. With this state of mind, there is less of a running here and there of the thought process. It is a dull or sleepy state, somewhat like what one experiences when depressed, though we are not here intending to mean only clinical depression. It is that heavy frame of mind we can get into, when we want to do nothing, to be lethargic, to be a couch potato. The Mudha mind is barely beyond the Kshipta, disturbed mind, only in that the active disturbance has settled down, and the mind might be somewhat more easily trained from this place. Gradually the mind can be taught to be a little bit steady in a positive way, only occasionally distracted, which is the Vikshipta state. Then the mind can move on in training to the Ekagra and Nirodhah states.

Vikshipta/distracted: The Vikshipta mind is distracted, occasionally steady or focused. This is the state of mind often reported by students of meditation when they are wide awake and alert, neither noticeably disturbed nor dull and lethargic. Yet, in this state of mind, one’s attention is easily drawn here and there. This is the monkey mind or noisy mind that people often talk about as disturbing meditation. The mind can concentrate for short periods of time, and is then distracted into some attraction or aversion. Then, the mind is brought back, only to again be distracted. The Vikshipta mind in daily life can concentrate on this or that, though it might wander here and there, or be pulled off course by some other person or outside influence, or by a memory. This Vikshipta mind is the stance one wants to attain through the foundation yoga practices, so that one can then pursue the one-pointedness of Ekagra, and the mastery that comes with the state of Nirodhah.

Ekagra/one-pointed: The Ekagra mind is one-pointed, focused, concentrated. When the mind has attained the ability to be one-pointed, the real practice of Yoga meditation begins. It means that one can focus on tasks at hand in daily life, practicing karma yoga, the yoga of action, by being mindful of the mental process and consciously serving others. When the mind is one-pointed, other internal and external activities are simply not a distraction. The ability to focus attention is a primary skill for meditation and samadhi. The person with a one-pointed mind just carries on with the matters at hand, undisturbed, unaffected, and uninvolved with those other stimuli. It is important to note that this is meant in a positive way, not the negative way of not attending to other people or other internal priorities. The one-pointed mind is fully present in the moment and able to attend to people, thoughts, and emotions at will. The one-pointed mind is able to do the practices of concentration and meditation, leading one onward towards samadhi. This ability to focus attention is a primary skill that the student wants to develop for meditation and samadhi.

Nirodhah/mastered: The Nirodhah mind is highly mastered, controlled, regulated, restrained. It is very difficult for one to capture the meaning of the Nirodhah state of mind by reading written descriptions. The real understanding of this state of mind comes only through practices of meditation and contemplation. When the word Nirodhah is translated as controlled, regulated, or restrained, it can easily be misunderstood to mean suppression of thoughts and emotions. To suppress thoughts and emotions is not healthy and this is not what is meant here. Rather, it has to do with that natural process when the mind is one-pointed and becomes progressively more still as meditation deepens. It is not that the thought patterns are not there, or are suppressed, but that attention moves inward, or beyond the stream of inner impressions. In that deep stillness, there is a mastery over the process of mind. It is that mastery that is meant by Nirodhah.

Yoga is defined as “Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah,” which is roughly translated as “Yoga is the control of the thought patterns of the mind field.” Thus, this Nirodhah state of mind is the goal and definition of Yoga. It is the doorway by which we go beyond the mind.

Sutra-1.2- Yoga is the control, nirodhah, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, stilling, quieting, setting aside, of the modifications, gross and subtle thought patterns, of the mind field.

Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah

Yoga – yoga, union; literally, to yoke, from the root yuj, which means to join; same as the absorption in samadhi

Chitta – of the consciousness of the mind-field

Vritti – operations, activities, fluctuations, modifications, changes, or various forms of the mind-field

Nirodhah – control, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, understanding, stilling, quieting, setting aside of Nirodhah suggests self-training. This single sentence is a most succinct definition of the science of Self-realization, or Yoga. The key to understanding is the word nirodhah, which defies translation or description. When translated poorly or misunderstood, it can sound like the suppression or repression of thoughts and emotions, which is definitely not what Yoga is about. Rather, it has to do with a process more like coordinating and setting aside what is not significant or not of the self. It means finding the jewel of Truth that is underneath or behind all of the other activities in the mind-field. This comes through a self-training program dealing with the relationships, senses, body, breath, and mind. Ultimately, the meaning of nirodhah, and thus, of Yoga itself begins to emerge experientially through doing the practices. Nirodhah is the most desired of five states of mind: The sage Vyasa names five states of mind, of which the nirodhah state of mind is the desired state of mind for the realization of the true Self. These five states of mind are described just above in the discussion of Sutra 1.1. It is extremely useful to be mindful of the five states of mind, so as to better understand their relationship to this most desired state of mind. To find the jewel of the Self requires getting past the coloring of thought patterns, such as attachment, aversion, and fear. This involves witnessing your own inner process.

Two principles remain at the core throughout this self-training program

Practices leading to stability and tranquility

Non-attachment

Attitudes, efforts, and commitments: Five attitudes, efforts, and commitments are cultivated: faith in your direction, energy to go there, mindfulness and memory to stay there, and the ongoing commitment to seek the higher states of concentration and wisdom. Preparatory practices including meditation on attitudes towards people and ways to focus attention are done to train the mind so that the subtler meditations can then be practiced.

The more gross colorings of mind, dealing mostly with attractions, aversions, and fears are reduced through a process of training the senses, inner study, and surrender. Cultivating inner discrimination through the eight rungs of yoga, so as to systematically uncover that jewel of the Self.

The Mind becomes like a transparent crystal, then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization.

This is the beginning of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and is considered the most important part. The Yoga Sutras were intended to be reflected upon for some time. This is where it all begins. Here is where one learns to quiet the mind and engage in a personal practice. Reflect upon these teachings from this sacred text.

Remember these two principles of Yoga Theory,

1. Practice

2. Non attachment

Patanjali’s Psychology

All of suffering is due to the five afflictions of the mind outlined by Patanjali the 5 Kleshas

Ignorance-avidya

Egoism-asmita

Attachment-raga

Aversion-dvesa

Fear of death-abhinivesa

Avidya – mistaking the transient for the permanent, The impure for the pure, and mistaking the pleasures of the world for the bliss of merging with the pure spirit, forgetting the true yoga.

Asmita – Identification with the self, the body and the Problems that come with it. Creating ownership and fear of its loss, Identifying with pain and adopting it as the true self.

Raga – Encouraging and gratifying pleasures. We are attached to what we love because we fear its loss. When we live for the senses we will never be satisfied because the spirit wants union with the Divine

Dvesa – When our desires are not fulfilled we get frustrated And sad which turns to alienation and hate.

Abhinivesa – fear of death. When we fear death we stop living life because we live in fear of everything that could cause death. We may live with misery of the concepts of aging and disease.

Kriya yoga – yogic path of action. This path has three tiers. Tapas, svadhyaya and ishvara pranidhana.

Tapas – The burning desire that creates intense and consistent effort applied to the daily practice of yoga. It is important for a practitioner of yoga to have an understanding of these principles explained here.

Svadhyaya – The study of scriptures to gather knowledge and to practice the knowledge of moral and spiritual values. The study of ones owns self, from the outer to the inner, from the gross to the subtle.

Ishvara Pranidhana – Faith in God. Having the ability to know the infinite thus creating humility. Acknowledging God in all things beyond the duality of good & bad, right & wrong. When the three aspects of Kriya Yoga are followed with zeal and earnestness, life’s sufferings are overcome and samadhi, true freedom, is experienced.
*Homework assignment

YOGA SUTRAS 1.30-1.32

Obstacles and Solutions

According to the wisdom of the Yoga Sutra’s, there are a number of predictable obstacles that arise on the inner journey, along with several consequences that grow out of them. While these can be a challenge, there is a certain comfort in knowing that they are a natural, predictable part of the process. Knowing this can help to maintain the faith and conviction that were previously discussed as essential to maintain during your yoga practice.

1. Illness

2. Dullness

3. Doubt

4. Negligence

5. Laziness