Category Archives: Balance

Take Your Spirituality and Sexuality Back This Valentine’s Day

Try these four strategies for feeling grounded, free, and loving.

There’s no time like the present to radically reframe your sexuality as spirituality. Most of society is caught up in the lower frequencies associated with sex—meaning most folks are focused on being purely physical, self-gratifying, and impulsive. Making your sexuality spiritual involves anchoring yourself in higher frequencies, such as devotion, reverence, and selflessly giving. The four principles and practices below, for how taking your sexuality back as an act of spirituality, come from Vedanta—the ancient philosophical teachings of yoga—and from my Sattvic and Sexy program, which teaches women how to be comfortable with themselves—with both the pure (sattvic) and the sexy parts of themselves. I’m going to tell it like it is… real, raw and honest.

My Sattvic and Sexy principles are ideally used in unison; not individually. See them as a collective—that build all aspects of a woman who confidently connects intimately with herself and her partners. A woman who acknowledges her challenges and sets healthy boundaries without feeling guilty.

Sattvic and Sexy Principles and Poses

1. Be Courageous

Take ownership of your thoughts, words, and actions. Avoid judgement, blame, and competition. Choose to self-direct your present experience and design your desired future.

It takes courage to own your sexuality and redefine it for yourself as spirituality, instead of something everyone has already labeled for you and defined for you. Sexual labels such as sluts, prudes, or teases only keep you in the lower frequencies because they are physical and based on whether or not you have sexual intercourse. Instead, you can be spiritually anchored in the higher, allowing freedom from valuing yourself by what you choose sexually. You choose to only have intercourse from a place of conscious intimacy with your partner. This way you are …

3 Yoga Poses for Deeper Intimacy


Let love in by practicing these self-loving postures first.

Want to bond more deeply with your partner? Start by connecting more deeply with yourself. Try these poses to sense your body more fully, get in touch with your breath, and stoke your internal fire. This will help you sync up more effectively with your lover. 

Mar Soraparu is a Chicago-based yoga teacher, lifestyle coach, and a partner at BIÂN, a private members’ club built on the foundation of holistic wellness, vitality, and social well-being. She strives to reinvigorate and heighten the energy of her clients by enriching their minds and bodies to make space for growth and clarity. Find her at yogawithmar.com or livebian.com.

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Start Fresh & Love Yourself, Damn It

Begin the next decade with a little self-love! Check out what’s inside of our Jan/Feb 2020 issue.

Subscribe here. 

There’s a scene in the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber where we find out that Jim Carrey’s Lloyd has sold a dead, headless parakeet to an unsuspecting blind kid named Billy. Lloyd thinks this trick was brilliant and hilarious, since it’s produced enough extra cash for snacks for his cross-country road trip with his buddy, Harry. Cut to Billy, staring blankly into the horizon, gently stroking Petey the bird carcass (head held on by duct tape) and softly cooing “Pretty bird” to his unresponsive pet.

I was in elementary school when Dumb and Dumber was released, and that image of sweet Billy still gives me a shudder. At the time, my dad lovingly gave me one of his, “It’s not real, it’s Hollywood” talks (only rivaled by the “It’s not blood, it’s ketchup” conversation that occurred after scenes from movies like Rocky left me in tears). You see, it’s never been difficult for me to feel compassion for others—real or imagined: I’ve held hands with strangers on airplanes, sat with homeless veterans for hours, and wept for the planet more times than I can count. But when it comes to tenderly feeling for myself, well, that’s something I’ve only recently started learning how to do.

Inside the Issue

This issue is packed with practices to help us all strengthen our self-compassion muscles. And we should: Scientists are starting to uncover the very real health benefits associated with loving kindness, such as higher heart-rate variability—an indicator of cardiovascular and overall health. Research shows that when we practice loving ourselves first, it trickles out into how we treat others, and the long-term positive effects range from better stress tolerance to longer life …

Our Favorite Features from the Past Decade


From a deep dive into psychedelics and spiritual enlightenment to the #metoo movement in the yoga community to the healing effects of yoga in our schools and military, we have rounded up some of our favorite features from the past decade.

Pour a cup of tea, grab a blanket, and sink into the sofa to enjoy some of our most illuminating features of the past ten years. We look forward to bringing you continued coverage of the evolving, rapidly growing community and timeless practice of yoga in the years to come.  

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4 Steps to Setting Up Your Workspace for Prosperity and Success in 2020

Small changes in your workspace can create momentum in your life and in your business. Here’s how connecting with your physical environment can help you achieve your goals.

The way you arrange your workspace can direct energy flow to areas that need it. 

Do you have big plans and dreams for the next decade–personal or professional goals you want to achieve? What if you discovered that simply changing the layout of your workspace could set you up for prosperity and success in the new year and beyond?

Thanks to the popularity of the minimalist movement and organization consultant and best-selling author Marie Kondo, of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up fame, there have been noticeable shifts happening in the way people approach their living spaces and their attachments to the things they own. Perhaps, you are already on a decluttering mission and releasing stuff that no longer “sparks joy.”

Setting up your workspace for prosperity and success is not just about decluttering, however. It’s important to dive into the energy of the space as well. In fact, the way you have arranged your home and workspace could be holding you back. By implementing small changes, influenced by Feng Shui principles, you can begin to fully step into the prosperity and success you seek.

See also How to Use the Ancient Principles of Vastu to Declutter Your Home and Improve Its Energy

Your Physical Environment is a Mirror of Your Inner World

“Your home and workspace are not just where you spend most of your time, but a window into and an extension of your subconscious mind,” said Dorena Kohrs, aka the Space Doula, a Feng Shui and space clearing expert. Kohrs teaches and guides her clients on the principle that our homes and workspaces are mirrors into our lives …

YJ Tried It: Top Trends of the Past Decade


From the wacky to the wild, our editors and contributors tried a lot of strange trends this past decade so you don’t have to.

Ask anybody at Yoga Journal and our YJ Tried It column stands out as a favorite. We encourage readers to get out of their comfort zones, and participating in new trends is one way to open your heart to curiosity. Some things we loved and continue to practice, like ecstatic dance and ASMR meditation. Others, we can live without (we’re looking at you, cold exposure). In the end, every new experience expanded our horizons, and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to cover them. 

For this new decade, we challenge you to embrace the spirit of YJ Tried It in your own lives. Go to that new studio that opened up down the street; attend an event hosted by a community that you’ve never interacted with before; sit through a lecture on a topic that you haven’t heard of. Get excited by the unknown and continue to grow. 

See also How to Cultivate a Brave Heart

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5 Poses to Survive Your Family This Holiday

Does your family of origin know exactly how to push your buttons? This sequence will help you react and communicate from your true self, not your childhood self.

It’s okay to take a little time for yourself in the midst of family “togetherness.”

It’s often called “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but the Holidays are often the most challenging. Even those of us with dedicated practices can experience frustration and anger with our families. 

Renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass famously said, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” I personally cannot count the amount of holidays I was wrapping my legs behind my head doing Ashtanga in the hallway to stay sane, while my family members wrapped gifts in the other room.

Why do we get so triggered? 

Often, our mind is hijacked by old relationship dynamics and familiar scripts. We lose the clarity of the present moment and connection to our true Self. We start responding as if we were 10 years old again, instead of the more evolved adult we have become. 

See also 4-Step Meditation to Beat Holiday Stress

Luckily, we can call on yoga to help. Our practice is truly the gift that keeps on giving. As children and teens, managing our feelings and making sense of emotions might have been challenging. Now as adults, we have skills we can employ when frustrated or sad, such as language, self-compassion, and even specific poses. This can be incredibly healing!

Beneath even the most meaningful layers, like our identity and familial connection, there is a place inside of us that is eternal and invincible. This is a place of love, patience, connection, and generosity. This is our true nature. We glimpse this place every time we get on the mat, …

Keep the Peace during the Holidays

Call on these methods of mindfulness when seasonal stressors threaten holiday cheer.

Use mindfulness and gratitude to have more fun this season. 

The holiday season conjures up all kinds of associations—some pleasant, some not so much: piling into the car to head to Grandma’s house (enduring bumper-to-bumper traffic in your own version of a clown car), flights, delays, cabin fever, flu fevers, arguing about politics over eggnog. Are you stressed yet?
In a perfect world, this time of twinkles and togetherness would bring about strictly positive emotions such as joy and connection, but in reality, it’s often colored with anxiety triggered by a mash-up of mixed emotions. In the coming months, use these mindfulness exercises when you’re feeling more mad than merry.

See also This Yoga Sequence Is Exactly What You Need During the Holidays

JUST BREATHE

When you feel yourself getting triggered, the simple act of taking a breath will give you the chance to pause before you react. So rather than blowing up at cousin Tom for denying climate change, you might kindly point him toward the scientific research and quickly leave him to read it while you pour yourself some peppermint tea. 

See also How to Practice Sama Vritti Pranayama (Box Breathing)

GET GRATEFUL

Taking the time to sprinkle gratitude over every moment and meal you share with family and friends will strengthen the pathways in your brain that recognize what’s going right rather than what’s going wrong. Offer thanks for the plants, animals, farmers, grocers, and everything else that’s making your day possible, and watch yourself sail past perceived imperfections with grace and gratitude. 

See also 5 Ways to Put the Yamas Into Practice During the Holidays

LAUGH A LITTLE

In my family, when disturbances arise, we like to practice various types of what we …