Beyond just postures and poses, yoga is a principle that can be expressed in every facet of our lives. That principle is the opportunity to recognize our divine nature via healthy alignment of our physical and mental selves. Developing perspective on that principle through a wholesome body-mind connection is the purpose of the different poses (asanas), and is a natural by-product of a consistent meditation practice.
Vedic culture doesn’t see meditation as just something to do, but rather as something you’re always doing. The mind is always thinking about something, even during sleep. Recognizing this, the practice of meditation aims to focus our mental energy in a way that is both uplifting and enlightening. Whether you’re looking for a daily destress or an experience that expands your sense of self and reality, this is the place to start.
The 7 Chakras
Every human being has seven chakras which act as interfaces that relay information between the body of flesh and bone and the subtle, energy body that operates our sensory and emotional response systems.
Thinking of the human being’s nervous system as a powerful radio station provides a helpful analogy for visualizing how it works.
First, imagine the spine as a radio tower. Sensory information is transmitted to the spinal column via the five senses, which act as satellite receivers. Then, this information is sent up the vertebrae to the central control room, the brain, where it is displayed on the screen of the mind.
The chakras are energetic filters that direct the in-out flow of feeling and perception, based on your personal genetic program. When your chakras operate at peak performance, you feel amazing. However, when they are overworked, obstructed, or repressed, you experience various physical and mental ailments.
By adopting healthy habits and cutting out harmful lifestyle choices, you can bring your chakras into balance and experience a huge boost in happiness and well-being.
Yoga Poses (Asanas)
Every yoga pose, known in Sanskrit as an “asana,” has its own way of bringing the body and mind into greater harmony. World-renowned yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar poetically compares the body to a bow and each asana to the various arrows with which individuals target the ultimate aim of yoga practice — the soul.
Below you’ll find our guides to some of the most popular yoga poses, including the specific benefits of each pose, cautions, variations on the pose, and a step-by-step guide to trying it out.
Mudras are hand gestures that activate a certain element or energy in the body. The five fingers represent the five elements. The energy activation point lies on the fingertips. When the fingertips are connected, the subtle energy in your body gets activated. The thumb represents the fire element. This element represents agni within the body, and it serves to activate all the other elements.
Learn More About Yoga
Yoga is an ancient tradition with a wide variety of practices, styles, and aims. However, the ultimate aim of yoga is bhakti, or devotion to the Supreme. Learn more about yoga by studying the Bhagavad-gita or by reading some of our other articles below.
Types of Yoga
- What is Iyengar Yoga?
- What is Kundalini Yoga?
- What is Vinyasa Yoga?
- 6 Benefits of Laughing Yoga
- An Overview of Pranayama
- 6 Reasons to Practice Pranayama
- 5 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
- What is Bikram Yoga?
- What is Food Yoga?
- What is Karma-Yoga?
- What is Jnana-Yoga?
Yoga Benefits & More Yoga Poses
- 5 Benefits of Yoga and How to Start
- 9 Yoga Poses for Beginners
- 5 Challenging Yoga Poses
- 7 Yoga Poses for Kids
- 4 Tips for Introducing Yoga to Kids
- 9 Yoga Poses for Beginners
- 6 Yoga Poses for Couples
- 5 of the Best Restorative Yoga Poses
- 7 Powerful Standing Postures
- 6 Yoga Poses for Pregnancy
- 6 Yoga Hip-Openers
- 5 Yoga Twist Poses
- 10 Yoga Poses for Depression
- 8 Yoga Poses for Seniors
- 8 Yoga Poses for Runners
- 7 Yoga Poses for Back Pain
- 7 Yoga Poses for Sciatica
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Root Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Sacral Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Navel Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Heart Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Throat Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Third Eye Chakra
- 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Crown Chakra
- Mudras for the Root Chakra
- Mudras for the Sacral Chakra
- Mudras for the Navel Chakra
- Mudras for the Heart Chakra
- Mudras for the Throat Chakra
- Mudras for the Third Eye Chakra
- Mudras for the Crown Chakra
- What is Bhakti?
- Bhakti Yoga: Approaching God Through Devotion
- What is the Best Type of Yoga?
- Bhakti: The Goal of Meditation
- Tulasi and Its Role in Bhakti
- Tulasi and Its Role in Bhakti
- What is Prayer?
- 6 Reasons to Keep a Prayer Journal
- Ekadashi Fasting: Benefits and How to Start
- Putrada Ekadashi
- Indira Ekadashi
- Pasankusa Ekadashi
- Parshva Ekadashi
- Kamini Ekadashi
- Yogini Ekadashi
- Pavitra Ekadashi
- Sayana Ekadashi
- Importance of the Brahma Muhurta
- An Easy Guide to Meditation
- What Happens to Your Brain When You Meditate
- What is Trataka Meditation?
- How to Control Your Mind
- Overview of the Bhagavad-gita
- Bhagavad-gita On the Self Karma and Reincarnation
- Bhagavad-gita On Recognizing a Guru
- Bhagavad-gita On Self-Realization
- Bhagavad-gita On Freedom
- Bhagavad-gita and the Yoga Ladder
- Bhagavad-gita On Transcending Oneness
Yoga Practice and the Modes of Nature
- What are the Three Modes of Material Nature?
- What is the Mode of Goodness?
- What is the Mode of Passion?
- What is the Mode of Ignorance?
- 9 Ways to Rise Above the Mode of Goodness
- 4 Reasons to Give in Charity
- 5 Ways to Rise Above the Mode of Passion
- 3 Ways to Rise Above the Mode of Ignorance
Topics in Yoga Philosophy
- What is the Soul?
- What is the Dharma?
- What is the Matter?
- What is Reincarnation?
- What is Karma?
- What is the Absolute Truth?
- What is Self-Actualization?
- What is a Guru?
- What are the Vedas?
- What is Time?
- Bhagavata-Purana: Crown-jewel of the Vedas
- Why Does God Allow Suffering?
- 5 Symptoms of a Self-Realized Person
- On Attachment and Renunciation
- On Anxiety
- On Consciousness
- On Depression
- On Enlightenment
- On Faith and Doubt
- On Greed
- On Grief
- On Guilt
- On the Mind
- On Shame
- On Uncertainty and Confusion