Bhakti Yoga: The Path of Devotion 

 

by Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

The word yoga, for most of us, conjures up an image of a room full of people in intricate poses. That might be a valid picture, but it’s not the whole picture. In fact, hatha yoga (the yoga of asana, or postures) is only one of the limbs of Raja Yoga, the path outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Raja Yoga is like a comprehensive training manual. It includes ethical standards, internal practices (such as studying scripture and cultivating contentment), postures, pranayama…

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Feet First: Guidelines for Walking Meditation 

  

by Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

There’s nothing lovelier than a walk in the warm summer air, with green all around and the flowers blossoming. But there’s another kind of walking that can be equally delicious: walking meditation, an opportunity to slow down and luxuriate in the smallest detail of a process we usually take for granted.

Slowing down your walking has tremendous benefits. First, it refines your level of concentration. For many, it’s one of the quickest, most effective ways to enter a…

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Life as Meditation 

 

by Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

If you were to ask someone on the street, “What is yoga?,” you’d probably get a description of hatha yoga, the yoga of asanas, or physical postures. But yoga is an immense field of study with a broad spectrum of practices, enabling us to explore the full potential of human development in body, mind, and spirit.

The breadth and ultimate simplicity of yoga can be summed up in this statement from Swami Kripalu: “To perform every action skillfully is yoga.” That pretty much means…

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There’s No Sound Like Om 

 

Ommm. It’s often the first and last sound in your ears in a yoga class. But what does it mean? Perhaps you’ve heard it defined as “the sound of the universe”—but what does that really mean?

Turns out, a lot—and yet, like many spiritual (and especially yogic) things, it’s not so easy to define. “It’s big. Om is nebulous and it’s vague. It can mean almost anything,” says Yoganand Michael Carroll, Dean of theKripalu School of Yoga.

For starters, it’s all about sacred threes. Most faiths have trinities in…

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The Power of Kirtan 

 

As yoga becomes increasingly popular in the United States, the ancient practice of kirtan (KEER-tahn), or yogic chanting, is gaining interest. The call-and-response format of chanting is a type of yoga in itself and has many of the mind-calming benefits of a yoga class or sitting meditation.

For those who find meditation difficult, kirtan, which has varying effects for different people, offers the possibility for the same stillness of mind, without the struggle or striving to concentrate. This practice…

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Sitting in Stillness–Mantras, Metta, and Meditation 

 

In this edition of Ask the Expert, meditation teacher and senior Kripalu faculty member Bhavani Lorraine Nelson answers questions from readers like you.

My mind races when I sit. Can mantras help?

The reason I cover five or six different techniques in my Introduction to Meditation program is because not every type of meditation is effective for everyone. Some people thrive on simply sitting with the breath; for others, the breath is very ephemeral, so the mind has free rein to wander. Some…

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Turning Point Interview with Bhavani! 

Kripalu Turning Point Interview with Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

In this interview with Tresca Weinstein, Freelance writer and editor for numerous regional and national organizations and publications, including Kripalu Center, RiverWays, Pointe Magazine, Berkshire Living Magazine, and The (Albany, NY) Times Union, Bhavani is asked to describe a "turning point" in her life and elaborate on her teaching and personal passions. 

Click HERE to read Kripalu Center's online e-magazine interview with Bhavani.