Topic: spirituality

Yoga In Real Life: I Will OM, But I Won’t Chant

Yoga In Real Life: I Will OM, But I Won't Chant

When I first started practicing yoga, I refused to “OM.” I’m not quite sure why; it just felt weird to me. Maybe because I didn’t understand what it meant, maybe it felt strangely cult-like or maybe it was just the howling off-key girl next to me who turned me off. Whatever the reason, I was always like, “Can’t we just get down to business and start vinyasa-ing?” More »

I’m Not Zen. But I Can Still Teach Yoga.

I'm Not Zen. But I Can Still Teach Yoga.

Yoga teachers scare me. I’ve often thought of them as being all love and peace and serene, living perfect lives with perfect spouses and perfect families. They don’t get mad or angry or jealous. They don’t have judgmental or negative thoughts about anyone — even the asshole across the street who calls the neighborhood homeowners association every time they don’t bring in the garbage can. They don’t care about material goods. They live in small, simple homes. And when not practicing yoga, they spend the better part of their days meditating and spreading love, light and positive vibes throughout the world. “Yogier than thou” is what I call them. More »

Losing Our Religion, But Worshipping the Royal Wedding

Losing Our Religion, But Worshipping the Royal Wedding

The royal wedding caused thousands of Americans to wake up way too early and, therefore, drink way too much coffee this morning. Aside from that, the marriage of two boring, average-looking people really doesn’t have much bearing on our health — mental or physical. (Unless you’re scarfing some kind of royal wedding memorabilia chocolates, in which case: Please find a more worthy indulgence!) We’ll leave fodder about Kate’s dress and diet to other blogs, but something that did interest me was the Lord Bishop of London’s address. (How I was conscious enough to absorb anything beyond McQueen is a mystery, even to me.) The ceremony was traditional (obviously), and religious (again: obviously), but the speech seemed to me a rather modern take on what it means to be wed. The Dr. Richard Chartres didn’t just recipe prayers or stale passages meant to honor the royals; he acknowledged that, for most of us, marriage has started to replace God More »

Spirituality Speeds Trauma Recovery, So Yoga Teachers: Get Thee to Japan

Spirituality Speeds Trauma Recovery, So Yoga Teachers: Get Thee to Japan

If I were a yoga teacher, I’d be on board a flight to Japan to get some earthquake survivors into downward dog. You might say yoga is trivial compared to the pressing needs of individuals who were left without a home or family, but long after houses are rebuilt and physical health is restored, survivors will likely be grappling with post-traumatic psychological effects, and this is where yoga could help. And obviously, toned arms and headstands alone won’t alleviate the extreme emotional stress of losing homes, businesses, land, and even family members. But with recent studies showing that spirituality can speed recovery from collective traumatic events, it’s not far-fetched to say that a few spiritual, meditative yoga classes could improve the outlook for survivors in Japan, just like it’s soothed post-traumatic stress in other communities around the world. More »

The Healing Code: Complete Mental and Physical Health, Success, and Inner Peace In 6 Minutes or Less. Or Not.

The Healing Code: Complete Mental and Physical Health, Success, and Inner Peace In 6 Minutes or Less. Or Not.

This is author Therese Borchard’s debut post for Blisstree, and we’re happy to announce that she’ll be blogging for us on a weekly basis about all kinds of mental health, depression, and therapy issues. Have a question for Therese? Leave it in our comments section.

I admit it: I am one skeptical chick when it comes to health solutions, because I read so many self-help books a week that my bookshelves can no longer hold their weight. I’ve spent close to $40,000 on therapy, outpatient treatment programs, and psych visits. I’ve also explored almost every single alternative health treatment on the market today, from acupuncture to expensive Chinese herbs.

I spend an incredible amount of time each day pursuing good emotional and physical health. I’ve been called many things, but “health slacker” is not one. If I don’t swim 150 laps before 7:30 am, then I run seven miles. I eat plenty of roughage and vegetables, keep processed foods to a minimum, and take six omega-3 capsules a day, plus vitamin D, folic acid, and calcium supplements.
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Yoga: Spiritual, Religious, or None of the Above?

Yoga: Spiritual, Religious, or None of the Above?

Plenty of yogis find spiritual solace in their poses and oms, and though some maintain a dogmatic devotion to their practice, most of us don’t consider yoga any more religious than Pilates or cycling. But an Indian-American Hindu movement called “Take Back Yoga” has sparked debate over the real soul and religion of yoga. The campaign, an initiative of the Hindu American Foundation, is meant to “bring light to yoga’s Hindu roots,” according to their website. More »

Ganja Yoga: What Took You So Long?

Ganja Yoga: What Took You So Long?

Ganja and yoga go together like chocolate and peanut butter, or PB&J, or brownies and pot. And, while smoking weed is still taboo in most states across the U.S., a few cannabis-loving yogis are beginning to publicize their smoke-filled classes. Some yoga experts say that getting high prior to a class is harmful, but others can see how getting baked may help you connect with your body more intensely and enhance the whole experience.

So would you try ganja yoga? (either part) More »