2012
Posted on December 31st, 2012 by in Meditation

Balancing Act: A Conversation with Jack Kornfield

Meditation Lets Us Look Inside Ourselves to See the Whole World

Jack Kornfield, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, and one of the most well-known teachers of Buddhism in the West. He’s a founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and Spirit Rock Center in California. Here, he talks about meditation, his signature loving-kindness practice, an upcoming Kripalu retreat, and why he loves to teach.

What’s at the core of the trainings you teach? 
The trainings are centered in equanimity and balance—it’s the training of the heart and mind to stay balanced. I teach a series of steps for equanimity, beginning with reflections on the vastness of time and changing circumstances, ever-changing winds of gain and loss, praise and loss, pleasure and pain. Training has to do with reflecting on the value of keeping a peaceful heart and envisioning others with compassion. We realize that people can love enormously, and that you can’t love on behalf of someone else; we try to understand the limits of love. It’s also using a series of deep intentions: May I live with peace in the joys and sorrows of the world. May you find peace.

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Posted on December 30th, 2012 by in Moment of Quiet

Moment for Quiet

Take a moment to pause, to breathe, to exhale into the day. As we let go of 2012 and head into a new year, set your intention for self-care, connection, and inquiry.

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Posted on December 29th, 2012 by in Meditation, Yoga

Dirgha Pranayama: Three-Part Breath [VIDEO]

Larissa Hall Carlson, Kripalu Yoga teacher and Ayurveda specialist, shares a Dirgha Pranayama practice to bring you to a calm, relaxed state.

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Posted on December 28th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen, Nutrition

The Nutritional Benefits of Grains

Grains have a wealth of benefits to offer, from fiber to plant proteins to phytonutrients and B vitamins. There is a caveat, however. You can only reap these benefits if you’re eating whole grains.

When grains are refined (a process in which the outer bran and inner germ are removed), they can be made into a wide variety of cheap foods that will last almost indefinitely, but deliver few nutrients. Refined grains act more like sugar in the body, which may make them easy to overeat. But as you make the switch to whole grains—and become more attuned to what real foods taste like—you can savor the fullness of a whole grain right down to the flavor of its germ. Your body, and your taste buds, will thank you.

You may have heard a lot about gluten lately, the protein responsible for the wonderful chewy texture of breads and other baked goods. It’s true that many people are sensitive to gluten, which has helped spark a deep exploration of gluten-free grains like millet and amaranth, and alternative sources for flour, like coconuts and garbanzo beans. But for the majority of us who digest gluten well, wheat, rye, and other whole grains with gluten remain a wonderfully healthful choice.

With a bit of inspiration and a willingness to get creative, it’s easy to tune into the allure of whole and gluten-free grains, and discover the ones you love best.

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Posted on December 27th, 2012 by in Life Lessons

Forging a New Path with Sadie Nardini

There are times when a radical change of course is necessary in life.  The old way just isn’t working anymore; a new approach is required.  We don’t know where we’re headed, but we know it’s time to forge a new path.  Transformation is imminent.

I was at such a juncture a couple of years ago.  Newly divorced and living 10 minutes from my ex-husband, I felt stuck in my past.  Surrounded by reminder after reminder of my former life, I felt the need to alter my geography to jumpstart a transformation.  With a hearty dose of trepidation and anticipation, I left Boston and moved to Los Angeles.

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Posted on December 26th, 2012 by in Wake-Up Call

How Yoga Helped Me Learn to Love My Body Again

by Carly Sachs, guest blogger

I remember shyly asking my classmates to take off their shoes, the school linoleum cold on our feet as we teetered and crashed into our desks and each other. The assignment for Ms. Rotar’s seventh-grade English class was to give a  how-to speech. I had decided I wanted to teach my class to do yoga, despite the fact that I had never actually done yoga. So armed with my books from the public library, I taught my fellow students how to do Tree pose, Vrksasana.

Why I was so determined to do yoga still confounds me. I’d heard about yoga for the first time in the course catalog of my local Jewish Community Center under the classes for seniors, and soon after my seventh-grade speech, I asked my mom to sign me up.

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Posted on December 25th, 2012 by in Yoga

Ways to Slow Down and Make Life a Yoga Class

Think about the word fast. Close your eyes. What do you see? I see a blur of cars, the color red, an e-mail inbox filling faster than I can click. Now what’s happening in your body? I get a little panicky, scared, overwhelmed, worried that I can’t keep up, that I’m missing out, that the [...]

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Posted on December 24th, 2012 by in Conscious Living, Yoga

The Wisdom of Yoga: The Spirit of the Strivers

An excerpt from The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Wisdom (Bantam 2006).

In this book, Steven Cope, MSW, investigates the wisdom tradition of yoga from the point of view of six contemporary characters—modern yogis struggling with issues of love, work, addictions, careers, and unfulfilled longings of many varieties. Weaving together narrative story and expository teachings, the book brings alive the rich, and very relevant, applications of yoga’s ancient teachings.

The following piece, “The Spirit of the Strivers,” is taken from the prologue. 

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Posted on December 23rd, 2012 by in Moment of Quiet

A Holiday Moment of Quiet

“Only love can bring unity and remove the separation between all living beings. Only love purifies the body and mind.”—Swami Kripalu

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Posted on December 22nd, 2012 by in Healthy Living, Relationships

How to Have a Happy Holiday

Holidays are about friends and family, eating copious amounts of comfort food, and enjoying our downtime. This year, in particular, we are faced with challenges that can weaken our immune system, and generally leave us feeling run-down, or drained. In the midst of holiday preparations we can lose sight of our exercise routines, our healthy eating habits, and our beneficial day-to-day patterns. On top of this, entertaining, late-night parties, and generally getting off our usual schedule can wear us down. Here are some tips for getting back into the groove during holiday time.

Relax! You have time off from work, so make good use of it and enjoy quiet time by the fire, reading books you’ve been yearning to pick up, getting back onto your cushion, and luxuriating in a hot bath. Since we don’t often make the time for self-care, take advantage of this opportunity for relaxation and rejuventation.

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