A Fall Equinox Flow For Finding Your Balance

9 soothing yoga poses to help you ground and center while honoring the seasonal shift.The 2020 fall equinox is on September 22. Aside from being a regular seasonal and astrological shift, this time of year also has a strong practical and spiritual significance.These final days of summer carry an energy of brilliant abundance, bountiful gardens, perfect sunsets, and a satisfying feeling of completion. In a simpler society, this was the time to take stock of the harvest, draw inward, and preserve resources for the coming winter.Over the years, I’ve shaped my yoga and spiritual teachings around these primal and innate connections to the Earth’s consciousness. By deepening our awareness of these seasonal energies and planetary shifts, we are connecting to something larger. We are plugging into the inherent wisdom of the Earth. We can utilize that connection in our spiritual and self-care practices.For an eco-friendly yoga mat for your practice, try Ajna Eco Organic Yoga MatHarnessing Fall…

This Ancient Mantra Meditation Can Curb Stress in Just 20 Minutes

Learn about the calming benefits of Vedic Meditation.

Vedic Meditation is a technique that traces its roots to the Vedas, ancient Indian texts that are the foundation for yoga and Ayurveda. Unlike Buddhist mindfulness-based techniques, Vedic Meditation (VM) doesn’t involve contemplation or trying to think compassionate thoughts. Instead, a mantra is used to settle the mind. It’s a powerful tool for cultivating calm and deep focus. Here are some of the basic principles of VM and a few ways this accessible technique can help you become more peaceful, clear, and insightful.

1. You Need a Teacher 

This practice isn’t something you can learn on your own, on YouTube—or even in the pages of this magazine. If you’re interested in learning VM, start by taking a four-day foundational course that includes lectures, meditation, and discussion, led by a VM teacher who has been studying and meditating for hundreds or even thousands of hours.


2. Your Mantra is Personal 

VM mantras are wordless sounds that redirect the mind from thoughts and chatter. Your teacher will give you your mantra. VM training enables teachers to discern each practitioner’s individualized sound upon meeting them, much like an Ayurvedic expert can read doshas. Your mantra belongs to you. Receiving it is considered a sacred exchange. Revealing it is said to dilute its power.

3. Practice Makes Perfect 

When thoughts arise, instead of acknowledging them and letting them go like we do in mindfulness meditation, gently return to your mantra. Over time, the practice will help you shift into a purely awake state of inner contentment. For me, that looks like joy: I am happy and able to maintain equanimity and perspective—even when everything appears to be going wrong.

4. It's Ideal for Busy People

VM is specifically designed for everyday people with full lives. Practitioners typically meditate for 40 minutes each day: 20 minutes in the morning and 20 more in the evening. You can do it almost anywhere. Simply sit comfortably with your back supported in an upright position. Close your eyes and use your mantra until you get lost, let go, and relax.

5. It Soothes a Busy Mind

A meditative state of rest lowers stress hormones such as cortisol and balances brain waves. It also produces helpful hormones (such as oxytocin, DHEA, GABA, and melatonin). With consistent practice, you can experience the advantages of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and learn from new experiences. Over time, the brain will rewire into a calmer, more aware, less reactive state.


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