Dhyana: The Seventh Limb of Yoga

By Nirmala Raniga The Eight Limbs of Yoga are spiritual practices for well being, which help us live more peaceful and fulfilling lives. Each limb of Yoga explains how Yoga isn’t just a physical practice, but a way of life that helps us connect to our environment,our higher selves and those around us. Our ongoing discussion of the Eight Limbs of Yoga brings us to Dhyana, the Seventh Limb, which is often translated as “worship”. Practicing Dhyana involves concentrating on a point of focus, with the intention of gaining truthfulness about it. For example, we…

Dharana: The Sixth Limb of Yoga

Our last few blog posts have been about the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which are spiritual practices for well-being that help us live more fulfilled lives. The Eight Limbs of Yoga explain how yoga is much more than just a physical practice, but a lifestyle that also enhances mental wellbeing. Dharana is the sixth limb of Yoga, which often gets confused with meditation. But Dharana explains the concentration and preparation it takes to enter into a meditative state. Dharana is translated from Sanskrit to “holding steady”, which means to go…

Pratyahara: The Fifth Limb of Yoga

By Nirmala Raniga Over the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring the Eight Limbs of Yoga: what they are, how they can help us live more fulfilling lives, and even how they can help those who are recovering from addiction. If you haven’t heard of the Eight Limbs of Yoga before, they are basic practices for well-being that explain how yoga is not just a physical practice, but a way of life that enhances the body, mind and spirit. Dating back nearly 5,000 years ago, Yoga was originated from the ancient Hindu wisdom known…

Pranayama: Fourth Limb of Yoga

By Nirmala Raniga, Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center Founder The Eight Limbs of Yoga are basic practices for wellbeing that help us live fuller and healthier lives. Pranayama is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga, which is used as a tool to help connect us to ourselves, others and our environment using our breath— or life force. Prana is a Sanskrit word that describes the energy flowing through every living thing, and throughout the universe. In the human body, this energy is expressed through the breath. To feel alive, vibrant and a…

Understanding Self Sabotage and How to Overcome it

By Nirmala Raniga “Sometimes we go through phases where a clear vision of our dharma or purpose seems to elude us. Or we might encounter roadblocks, whether internal or external, that seem to prevent us from fully living that purpose once we identify it. These obstacles, however, don’t have to be permanent for us. Because of who we truly are—infinite potential—we can learn to move through all that hinders us from living our dharma.” – Deepak Chopra Many individuals who struggle with addiction are also known to be victims of self-sabotage- a destructive behaviour…

A Father’s Love: The Foundations of Life

by Nirmala Raniga “It is a wise father that knows his own child” – William Shakespeare As we celebrate Father’s Day to honor the fathers in our lives, it is also a good time to recognize those individuals who hold a fatherly role in our lives as well as our own inner father. The responsibilities of fatherhood vary by culture, but from a human evolutionary standpoint, fathers take on the role of supporting life as protectors and providers of many of the foundational needs of life. Furthermore, fathers often also…

Asana Practice: The Third Limb of Yoga

By Nirmala Raniga “You don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.” — Dr. Deepak Chopra When most people think of yoga, asanas or yoga poses come to mind. But, as we’re learning through our exploration of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, which are basic practices for wellbeing that help us live fuller, healthier lives. In understanding the Eight Limbs of Yoga, we can appreciate that…

“The 8 Limbs of Yoga- Practicing the Niyamas for Spiritual Wellbeing”

This week, we’re continuing our discussion on yoga philosophy— specifically the Eight Limbs of Yoga— in honor of the second 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…

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…

Laughter for Health and Wellbeing

by Nirmala Raniga Human beings are social creatures. It is in our nature to connect with other people and form cooperative communities. One way we connect with others is through laughter. Forging relationships through lighthearted conversation and play is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and is important for our overall wellbeing. Robert Frost said: “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” Laughter is a way to help mitigate stress and alleviate pain. In fact, laughter is the foundation of a healing technique known as laughter, or…