Category Archives: Types of Yoga

A Yoga Therapist Shares The Truth About Trauma

Yoga therapist and psychologist Gail Parker, PhD, applies restorative practices in an innovative way to help people heal from racial wounds.

Gail Parker, PhD

Yoga Journal: Can you summarize your work?

Gail Parker: I’m a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, and a yoga therapist educator. I am a lifelong practitioner of yoga. 50 years. As a practicing psychotherapist of 40 years, I pioneered efforts to blend psychology, yoga, and meditation as effective self-care strategies that can enhance emotional balance, and contribute to overall health and well-being.

I closed my psychotherapy practice four years ago, which allowed me to focus all of my attention on the therapeutic benefits of yoga, and in particular on how Restorative Yoga and meditation can be utilized and taught as self-care practices for managing ethnic and race based stress and trauma. I also teach mind-body strategies for reducing stress and healing emotional trauma to aspiring yoga therapists in the Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in Royal Oak Michigan, the only hospital based yoga therapy school in the nation.

Yoga therapy is a type of therapy—grounded in the ancient philosophical teachings of yoga—that utilizes yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation as self-care strategies to improve mental and physical health and well-being.

See also The Healing Power of Trauma-Informed Yoga Classes

YJ: How do you apply this work to racial trauma (and can you define that term)?

GP: Ethnic and racial stress and trauma refer to the events related to real or perceived experiences of discrimination, threats of harm and injury, and humiliating and shaming events. The terms also apply to witnessing harm to other individuals caused by real or perceived race-related events.

Stress and trauma are stored in the body. Effective interventions involve physical engagement. Restorative Yoga is a form of yoga that is not intrusive; …

Tantra 101: The Epic Love Story of Shiva and Parvati


Meditation teacher Sally Kempton shares the mythology of two Hindu deities that inform Tantra’s tradition.

Just one more setback away from giving up on your goals? Take some inspiration from the epic tale of two Hindu deities—Shiva and Parvati—and the role that persistence played in bringing them together. Sally Kempton—who leads our upcoming online course, Tantra 101—recounts the iconic story of love, devotion, and determination at the center of this tradition’s sacred teachings. 

Watch also Is Tantra Really (All) About Sex?

Want to learn how to tap into your innate power? Join our new online course, Tantra 101: Awaken to Your Most Divine Life, led by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. In six weeks you’ll discover Tantra’s potent teachings and practices, so you can transform every breath, movement, and feeling into a pathway to greater insight and peace. Sign up today!

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Tantra 101: A Guided Visualization Practice to Open Your Heart


Envision your heart cne as a blossoming flower in this beautiful meditation from Sally Kempton.

Want to invite more love and bliss into your life? Try tapping into the sacred source that emanates from your heart center. Here, Sally Kempton—who teaches YJ’s upcoming course, Tantra 101—guides you through a simple practice to deepen your divine awareness: A beautiful visualization of your heart as a blossoming flower.

Watch also How Tantra Makes Positive Thinking Actually “Stick”

Want to learn how to tap into your innate power? Join our new online course, Tantra 101: Awaken to Your Most Divine Life, led by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. In six weeks you’ll discover Tantra’s potent teachings and practices, so you can transform every breath, movement, and feeling into a pathway to greater insight and peace. Sign up today!

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Feel More Present in Your Body with This Mindful Moving Meditation


Get grounded with a practice that combines mantra, movement, and breathing.

Feeling scattered or overwhelmed? Find tranquility with this breathing technique from Jillian Pransky, who leads our upcoming online course, Restorative 201. This gentle practice combines mantra, movement, and mindful breathing and will help you feel more focused and ready to face the challenges in your day.

Watch also Center Yourself ASAP with a 10-Breath Meditation

Want to thread the science of deep relaxation into your day? Join our online course, Restorative 201: Short, Simple Practices to Stay Calm on the Mat (and in the Moment). In five weeks Jillian Pransky will share bite-sized slow flow and restorative practices, breathing and meditation techniques, and quick reset tools—all designed to integrate into your life easily and immediately. Learn more and sign up today!

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Tantra 101: This Mantra Is Key to Experiencing Divine Energy


Feeling small? Try this short Tantric practice from Sally Kempton to expand your sense of self.

The ancient tradition of Tantra says that every being originates from a sacred source—so why don’t you always feel so “divine”? The next time you’re feeling small, try this simple mantra from Sally Kempton to help you reconnect to the universe and powerfully expand your sense of self.

Watch also What, Exactly, Is Tantra?

Want to learn how to tap into your innate divine power? Join our new online course, Tantra 101: Awaken to Your Most Divine Life, led by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. In six weeks you’ll discover Tantra’s potent teachings and practices, so you can transform every breath, movement, and feeling into a pathway to greater insight and peace. Sign up today!

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A Short Mantra Practice to Stay Open and Grounded


Maintain inner harmony during moments of change with this 5-minute meditation.

Transitions can be difficult, whether you’re moving into a new season, a new home, or a new job. Bring yourself back into balance with this short meditation from Jillian Pransky, who leads our upcoming online course, Restorative 201. Here, she shows you an invaluable tool to restore inner harmony, whether you need to be more present or allow yourself to open up to new experiences.

Watch also Inspire Stability & Fluidity with This Short Tree Pose Flow

Want to thread the science of deep relaxation into your day? Join our online course, Restorative 201: Short, Simple Practices to Stay Calm on the Mat (and in the Moment). In five weeks Jillian Pransky will share bite-sized slow flow and restorative practices, breathing and meditation techniques, and quick reset tools—all designed to integrate into your life easily and immediately. Learn more and sign up today!

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Dealing with Transition? Tether Yourself to the Present with This 3-Part Breath


Stay in the moment during periods of change with this short mindfulness technique.

Feeling unmoored by change? Return to the present moment with a short three-part breathing practice that’s easy to do anytime you feel your mind drifting into the future, or lingering in the past. Here, Jillian Pransky—who leads our upcoming online course, Restorative 201—shows you a simple technique to trace the length of every inhale and exhale. Each breath will bring you closer to the here and now.

Watch also Create Instant Calm with This Legs-Up-the-Chair Pose

If you want to learn how to thread the science of deep relaxation into your day, join our online course, Restorative 201: Short, Simple Practices to Stay Calm on the Mat (and in the Moment) taught by international yoga teacher and author Jillian Pransky. You’ll learn bite-sized slow flow and restorative practices, breathing and meditation techniques, and quick reset tools—all designed to integrate into your life easily and immediately. Sign up today!

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YJ Tried It: White Tantric Yoga

Writer Jennifer Davis-Flynn joins hundreds in white garb for a day of meditation in which you hold eye contact with a partner.

White Tantric is an ancient group meditation practice that can help you release deep subconscious blocks and heal your body and soul.

I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor of the gymnasium of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, looking into the eyes of my meditation partner. Five rows of Kundalini yogis are arranged in straight lines, marked by red yarn taped along the worn wood floor. Moderators walk between the rows, asking participants to move their mats and sheepskins closer to their partners so that their knees touch.

There are about 200 of us here to practice White Tantric Yoga, and we’ll be meditating in pairs all day: gazing into the eyes of our partner for five 31-minute meditations and one 62-minute meditation, with half-hour breaks in between.

A moderator has already come over to ask me to adjust the white silk scarf wrapped around my head, to make sure it is fully covering my crown. When practicing White Tantric Yoga, you are supposed to wrap the top of your head, not just the arc line around your temples, to contain the energy created during meditation and focus it toward the ajna chakra (the third eye chakra, or sixth chakra). 

See also How to Use the Seven Chakras in Your Yoga Practice

In Kundalini Yoga, your turban is your crown. By wearing a turban, along with pristine white clothing, you are expressing deep reverence for this practice. It’s a simple way to channel the raj (royal) lineage of yoga and honor your own divinity.

My partner, Erin, is from my 200-hour Level One Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training cohort. We’ve traveled …