The Second Limb of Yoga: Niyamas

This week, we’re continuing our discussion on yoga philosophy— specifically the Eight Limbs of Yoga— in honor of the third annual International Day of Yoga this June. In simple terms, The Eight Limbs of Yoga are eight important steps of a yoga practice that help us live fuller, happier lives. The Eight Limbs were created as universal guidelines by Maharishi Patanjali, who is considered the “father of Yoga”. Patanjali compiled the 195 Yoga Sutras (or primary Yoga talking points) that serve as the foundation of Yoga. Today, we’ll learn about the…

The First Limb of Yoga: Yamas

  The first of the 8 Limbs of Yoga are The Yamas. The Yamas are much like the Golden Rule, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, and they consist of five philosophies and practices: The first is Ahimsa, non-violence or non-harming. When we practice Ahimsa, we commit to not hurting any living thing, including ourselves. Often, when people struggle with addiction, this first Yama is the one that is the most difficult to follow. Addiction not only harms those around the person who is actively using,…

What Are the 8 Limbs of Yoga (and How Can They Help You Live a Fulfilling Life?)

When we think of yoga, we often picture crowded studios with students in stylish clothes twisting their bodies into difficult shapes. However, the true practice of yoga is much more than that. In fact, yoga is the Sanskrit word for union, the alignment of mind, body, and spirit. And, while the concept of yoga is simple, the practice consists of many facets. The most well-known yoga text is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which provides a framework for the practice of yoga. In this book, Patanjali defines the Eight Limbs of Yoga,…

Mindfulness: a Tool for Increasing Happiness and Reducing Stress in Recovery

Mindfulness is the practice of fully immersing yourself in the present moment, without thoughts about the future or the past. It encourages you to direct your attention inwards, and consciously experience the feelings, thoughts and sensations that are happening right now. This is how mindfulness can promote stress relief and acceptance, and pull you away from the destructive thought patterns that may tempt you to use a behaviour or substance to numb discomfort. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of practicing mindfulness in recovery, and how being mindful…

5 Ways Yoga Can Make Your Recovery Easier

Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in India thousands of years ago, and is encouraged for everyone to practice today as a way to connect the mind, body and spirit through breath, movement and postures. The word ‘yoga’ is Sanskrit for ‘unite’, ‘join’, or ‘attach’. Although it’s a physical practice, yoga is much more than exercise, and increasing your flexibility and strength. It’s a way of life that encourages you to feel connectedness and compassion to yourself and others by focusing your attention inward, silencing the mind, and…

Celebrating the Divine Mother

There is a beautiful chant in praise of mothers from Devi Mahatmyam: Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Maatr-Ruupenna Samsthitaa Namas-Tasyai         Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Mother, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again. The month of May honours all Earth mothers and the Divine Mother, Goddess Shakti. In Hinduism, Shakti gives birth and nurtures new life. She is an embodiment of love, nourishment, nurturing, compassion, and creativity. Each of the major female deities…

When Words Are Not Enough: Alternative Therapies to Heal Emotional Trauma

By Nirmala Raniga In the wake of emotional trauma, healing is required to prevent lasting damage to your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Now, it’s true that you are the agent of change in your own healing journey, but enlisting the help of others can be hugely beneficial in recovering from emotional trauma. Talk therapy can be extremely helpful in confronting painful experiences, but sometimes, words are not enough. This is when alternative therapies may help you access and restore your innate wisdom and power. Why Emotional Healing Needs to…

How to Release Suppressed Negative Emotion (And Why This is Important)

How to Release Suppressed Negative Emotion (And Why This is Important) By Nirmala Raniga To live is to experience a broad range of emotions, from profound joy to insurmountable pain and despair. While we can’t control everything that happens to us, we can learn to control our reactions and emotional responses to negative experiences, and begin to heal negative emotions we’re holding onto from the past. Suppressed negative emotion creates energy blocks in the mind and body, which is why confronting and healing negativity is essential for moving forward in…

5 Simple Steps to Healing from Emotional Trauma

By Nirmala Raniga Emotional trauma is everywhere, and so many of us are affected by it. When we lose someone or something we love, or a stressful event breaks apart our sense of security, we can begin to view our environment and those around us as dangerous. Even if a certain event doesn’t cause us any physical harm, being in a state of fear can still cause us to become traumatized. Before we get into the 5 steps of healing from emotional trauma, let’s take a quick look at common…

What Does Family Day Really Mean?

Family Day may be a leisurely day off from work and school, but it’s meant to be an opportunity for to reflect on the importance of spending quality time with our families, and feeling gratitude for the deep bonds and connections we share with one another. Our families today are rich and varied. No longer do we think of the traditional illustration of a family— a mother, father and their children. Instead, families can be led by single parents, same-sex couples, work families and friends— essentially, any community of people…