Personal development in a society with high spiritual values.

Open Yoga Journal

Humans are social beings: they create groups and communicate with each other on a regular basis. We have different feelings in different groups: in one of them we may feel discomfort, and another group can become “a second family” for us. How should we choose a group according to our purpose of spiritual development? What is the influence of society on us? How to learn the methods of effective communication in a group?

In iniduals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule” Friedrich Nietzsche

On the instinct level, we have a core feature to blend in with the crowd: we can subconsciously surrender to its influence and perform deeds, which we would never do outside this group. It is important to consider choosing a group very carefully, as its conditions and rules can keep to specific ethics or be unethical. As it is known those who go against moral principles, create negative results for themselves.

How to increase mental strength? Open Yoga Journal

Open Yoga Journal

As it often happens, the inner weakness destroys our plans, our health and our life. At times, the following thoughts come to our mind: “This is not for me, I cannot do it”. Where does this lack of self-confidence come from?

Our past failures raise doubts about our own abilities.  We perceive any personal mistakes as a proof of our inadequacy, and become confident that next time nothing is going to work out.

Do you recall the endless attempts of little kids to stand on their two feet and walk? It is hard to imagine that they consider themselves losers every time when they fall. They see the goal and do not notice bumps and bruises.

Great strength of body is the gift of nature“. Bias

If we falter once, we tend to choose the path of weakness rather than strength. Eventually we develop a habit to demonstrate weaknesses of our personality. On the contrary, by demonstrating our strong points, we take the path of power and develop a habit of living from the position of strength.

It is important to give room for error. “Everybody can make mistakes”. “Only those who do nothing make no mistakes”. A mistake is just a sign that we need to change direction, nothing more. If we remember this and fill our mind with the thoughts about our own power, it will help us to keep our mistakes in perspective.

Nobody knows the extent of his strength until he has tried.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Is it possible to lose weight by practicing Yoga?

Open Yoga Journal

People start practicing Yoga for different reasons. Some are looking for answers to spiritual questions; others are motivated by the desire to get into shape, or to lose weight. When you choose yoga for losing weight, the following questions arise: “Is it possible to lose weight by practicing yoga? Is it necessary to become a vegetarian? How quickly can I get a result?” Let’s refer to some theory of Yoga in search of answers to these questions.

Yoga as a self-exploration system

To start with, let’s remind ourselves of what is Yoga. Yoga is a self-exploration system based on the method of harmony and two main yoga principles – not doing any harm and using common sense.

In the process of self-exploration it is possible to achieve any targets, including acquisition of a beautiful slim body. But this is more like a “free application” to everything else, what Yoga is able to reveal in a person. The main purpose of Yoga is reaching an unconditional freedom. Regular exercises bring our body into natural, harmonious, ideal condition, making it free from any pressure and strain.

Happy is the one who gives.

Open Yoga Journal

Human development nowadays is very fast. We have to perform a large variety of tasks, process a huge amount of information and try hard to succeed in different areas of our lives. It seems impossible to achieve all goals and objectives without forcing ourselves and without losing out on our health and happiness.

Overcoming fear with yoga!

Open Yoga Journal

It is hard to define our fears, because we prefer to ignore them. We need to have considerable courage and to be honest with ourselves in order to face our fears. How can we learn not to be afraid of anything? How can we learn to be brave?

For a start, let us see what fear is and where does it come from. Fear is an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen.

Remembering our negative experience may cause us to be scared!

If we analyze our fears, we will see that they originate in the past. When we remember some negative situation in the past, we can transfer this fear to the similar, but not identical situations and be scared of their recurrence. Fear can become evident by the state of excitement – anger, or depressed state – distress, numbness or mental block.

How can we fight stress and physical fatigue in one fell swoop?

Open Yoga Journal

All of us have heard the phrase: ‘Motion is Life’. But every day we have to sit behind a desk at school, at the university, in the office, or in the car. Considering sedentary lifestyle, we need to compensate lack of motion for our well-being. In a vanity of everyday life many people are searching for a real way to get rid of both physical and mental stagnation. How can we free hidden reserves up and give rest to body and mind?

Yoga tells us, that dismals are not normal, and everyone can get rid of any discomfort. The main thing is to start.

The easiest way to begin the harmonization of our condition is Kriya yoga – the yoga of ‘acting’, ‘correction’. The chain of movements is made in order to involve not only our physical body, but also our thin structures.

The theory of Kriya yoga supposes that we are doing this practice, every time starting ‘from scratch’. We have to learn to trust ourselves, and change the tempo from time to time, depending on how we feel every single day.

The most important in Kriya yoga – as in any other type of yoga – is to practice in harmony, so that we want to go on. If there is pain – there is no yoga.

Egoism: a helper or an obstacle?

Open Yoga Journal

What is it – our Ego? Is there a difference between ‘Ego’ and ‘egoism’? Where does a fine line between reasonable inidualism and fanatical satisfying of Ego’s desires lay? How can we get rid of pandering to selfish desires?

In our life we got used to taking ourselves as a personality with certain characteristics that distinguish us from other people. The fact of self-awareness as an inidual produces a complex of associative connections, called ‘Ego’. But occasionally we fixate on our features, and grasp at the slightest chance to show our iniduality. It seems to us, that if we stopped acting this way, we would dissolve in the crowd, loose ourselves, and end up our existence. Would we?

Despite the same root of both words ‘Ego’ and ‘egoism’, they differ from each other. ‘Ego’ is ‘the part of a human personality that is recognized as ‘Self’, and contacts the outer world through perception’. It produces processes that support our independent existence, if we are living in harmony with the Universe.

‘Egoism’ is ‘the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one’s personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism)’. So, it is the overindulgence of our Ego.

What does Yoga say about egoism?

How to expand our freedom?

Open Yoga Journal

Is a person free being or he is determined by the laws of the Universe? How is the freedom of a person realized in the modern world? How does Yoga recommend to use our freedom?

In our everyday life we face with certain laws and mechanisms, which effect on all levels of our bodies, starting with physical and finishing with more subtle, emotional and mental bodies.

Everyone has a different level of freedom.

Someone is healthy, rich, powerful and can manifest in the world strongly. Someone is less free, he can own almost nothing, the rate of his manifestation is much lower. In this way, everyone of us is free for some percent right now, but for some percent is determined by the results of the past actions.

Let us determine the word ‘freedom’. Freedom is a possibility to manifest the will, the absence of any limits and restrictions, unlimited possibility for actions without sufferings.

‘Freedom is not idleness, but the possibility to manage your time and choose the occupation; to be free means not to be idle, but to decide yourself what to do and what not. What a great weal such a freedom!’ Jean de La Bruyère.

Trust the Universe and it will show you the way!

Open Yoga Journal

When we are born, we have to trust this world, represented by our mother and father, our relatives, the society in which we grow, and the country where we live.

Growing up, we become strong and independent, renouncing everything that, in our opinion, restricts our freedom and everyone whose opinion is in contrary to our. Choosing the path of confidence, we choose the path of bhakti-yoga.

If we join our will expression, our knowledge and our action – ichha, dzhnana and kriya, -by triple approach we will overcome ignorance!

By “ignorance”, yoga means our incorrect impression of ourselves. Each of us has a Higher Self, which is free, almighty and all-knowing. However, we become accustomed to believe that we are the body, the thoughts, and the emotions, by which we communicate with the world. Our manifestations are restricted and we lose the feeling of freedom and power.  This ignorance can be overcome by Bhakti yoga.

Bhakti yoga is the way of “Good Will”.

How to find your destiny in life?

Open Yoga Journal

Each of us is wondering what is our destiny. Some find the answer to this question in early childhood, while for others the decision comes not at once, but after years and years of searching. What does yoga say about the choices of life journey?

In Indian philosophy there is a term “Dharma”. The direct translation is “something which is holding or supporting”, from Sanskrit word “dhar” – “to support”.

“Sanatana-dharma” is the activity, which cannot be changed. For example, we cannot deny that water is liquid, or we cannot separate heat from the fire. In the same way, the immortal living being cannot be separated from his or her everlasting activity”1.

In yoga Dharma is some sort of life path, which leads us to the heights of self-exploration by serving this world.

Одна голова хорошо, а много — эффективнее! Отзыв

Открытый Йога Журнал

Друзья, спешу поделиться с вами своим открытием! Мне посчастливилось поучаствовать в одном очень интересном проекте Школы Открытой Йоги – Открытом Йога Журнале. Для меня это стало получением нового и значимого опыта. На уровне открытия нового способа познания Вселенной.

Это давно не секрет, что любая совместная практика даёт гораздо больше открытий, чем ты думал, чем смел надеяться, чем ты привык получать в одиночку. Есть огромная разница: занимаешься ты самостоятельно йогой на коврике — это будет личная практика, или занимаешься той же йогой, но в кругу единомышленников. Эту разницу можно уловить, когда ты имеешь опыт и тех, и этих практик. Качество совсем разное будет, но описать его порой сложно, оно неуловимо.

А если представить, что это по аналогии работает и в других, более тонких и ментальных практиках? Например, в практиках совместного творчества, написания одной статьи или книги.

Знаете, говорится, что одна голова хорошо, а две — лучше, а три еще лучше и больше — вообще шикарно!

Обижаться или развиваться?

Как правило, мы привыкли свято охранять свои мысли и если выносим их на всеобщее обозрение в некий текст, словесную форму на бумаге, сочинение, то продолжаем считать это чем-то святым и личным. Однако сам факт, что мы хотим этим поделиться, означает, что мы непременно хотим вынести свою идею на обсуждение.

Freedom and responsibility – two sides of one yoga

Open Yoga Journal

Freedom is the main purpose of Yoga. However, what kind of freedom is it? Where is the fine line between our own freedom and the freedom of others? What do we owe and to whom? Today we shall contemplate two sides of the same coin: freedom and responsibility.

The purpose of Yoga is very high – it is a complete, unconditional freedom from all limitations, even those, we are not aware of yet.

Therefore, we can use the term Yoga only for the system of self-knowledge, which leads a person to the real unconditional freedom by learning about oneself and the Universe.

Yoga says that a person should be free even from yoga if it makes him/her feel constrained. Whatever makes us depressed or obnubilates our mind should be rigorously rejected.

In the philosophical sense, the freedom is the ability of a person to demonstrate his/her willpower based on awareness of the derivative laws. Meaning that the person is the defining cause of his/her actions, and they are not directly attributable to the interpersonal, inidually generic and social factors.

“Live and let live”

Open Yoga Journal

The reference to the above principle can be found in Vedas and in the Fundamentals of Hinduism Philosophy. It means non-aggressive, nonviolent interaction with the world around.

It seems that nothing could be easier than living and letting live.

Although, whether we realize it or not, very often we fail to follow this principle. Sometimes, while we are struggling to survive ourselves, we interfere with somebody else’s life. Alternatively, we go to another extreme and make every effort for someone else, forgetting about ourselves.

“Survival” instinct is natural for us. We have it from our previous lives “in the bodies of the animals” as per yoga philosophy. Those instincts used to help us at some point to fight our enemies. However, upon reaching a certain level of evolution, most of them became irrelevant, dated and making it impossible to live in harmony with ourselves and with the world around.

Yoga tells us that as soon as we attain a human body, we can and we should expand our freedom, and get rid of dated programs.

For this purpose, yoga recommends to be:

A good habit of practicing yoga

Open Yoga Journal

Ancient treatise “The Narrative of Hatha yoga” states that the habit to practice yoga every day is the main criteria of success on the way to understanding yoga.

But what they mean with the word “habit”?

A habit is a set behaviour patterns that are repeated regularly and in certain circumstances becomes the requirement for the person. From the scientific point of view habits can develop spontaneously, be a result of the upbringing, develop into permanent aspects of personality or become as a reflex. As people usually understand it for them the habit is associated with lack of freedom: inertness of behaviour and thinking, tendency to a certain pattern of actions, drilling the same thing over and over.

However the treatise gives to the following statement: “Negative habits are serving a bad trick – they are our worst enemy. But Shiva in his mercy gave asanas to people; and when we form a habit to practice these asanas, they bring the supreme good into our life and a freedom after all”.

In search of happiness with yoga

Open Yoga Journal

Probably each person at least once in a lifetime wondered what happiness is and where it can be found. And at least once each of us was feeling happy. But you would find it difficult to describe this feeling in words. How can you explain something that is beyond any words or definitions?

From the scientific point of view the feeling of happiness is caused by a mix of chemical substances, produced by the body itself in certain situations. These substances influence the heart rate, the process of breathing, the blood pressure, and as a result lead to ethereal. However, this sort of explanation gives us just a one-sided understanding.

Happiness can be found only inside!

The feeling of happiness is so inidual, that it is nearly impossible to define it. However, it is possible to get closer to understanding of where it comes from by researching the inner world, and slowly moving from rough feelings to the finer ones.

A sound mind in a sound body!

Open Yoga Journal

Using physical exercises yoga helps to keep the body in harmony and to reach the next level in self-knowledge.

Yoga teachers pass the tradition of leading healthy lifestyle through the ages.

Men and women trained hard their bodies to feel their physical and inner strength and to bear and bring up healthy posterity.

The main thing is, that it is easier to prevent the negative event with practice, than to waste a lot of time and forces to struggle with it. One of the preventive actions were physical exercises. ‘Heyam duhkham anagatam’ — Prevent the suffering that is yet to come. (Yoga Sutra II.16).

The necessity in physical exercises is put behind our body construction. When there is lack of movements the body starts to demand your attention. It sends signals to the mind claiming for physical load. At the same time the practice have to be harmonic, bring you joy and positive emotions. It is better not to strain your body, forcing it. ‘The selectivity in practice is the guarantor of health.’

Yoga is the way to human evolution!

Open Yoga Journal

Yoga for beginners, yoga for men, yoga for women, yoga for seniors. So, what is yoga – is it a way to enlightenment or just another method for making easy money? Where did this teaching come from? What are basic laws of it? How many types of yoga exist? Let’s try to figure this all out.

There is a great variety of explanations for the word “yoga” – something that is in fashion, a hobby of vast number of people, a business, a type of physical exercises, gymnastics, acrobatics, etc? Very rarely one can hear that it is a system of self-exploration, which came to us from the East, and which is based on the principles of kindness and logic.

When we think about yoga we imagine or recall some pictures with people in different complicated poses and we think: “What kind of philosophy is that if I simply see pictures of people in different poses?“ This kind of approach does not help us much.

If we study ancient texts of India then there the appearance of yoga is associated as the knowledge given to people by Shiva – the supreme God of Hindu tradition, representing the primary Creator of the Universe.

Интервью с Татьяной Хармони о том, как превратить сон в практику йоги

Открытый Йога Журнал

Приветствую читателей Открытого Йога Журнала. Меня зовут Лейсан Дивья, корреспондент Открытого Йога Журнала. Сегодня у нас в гостях преподаватель Открытой Йоги, куратор йога-курсов на английском языке, заведующая кафедрой Йоги Сновидений — Таня Хармони.

— Здравствуйте, Татьяна!


— Расскажите, пожалуйста, о вашем знакомстве с йогой, о первых шагах на пути становления преподавателем йоги.

С йогой я познакомилась ещё в детстве. По крайней мере, слово «йога» я знала с детства. И знала, что йоги сидят в позе лотоса. Папа нас, детей, учил йоге, показывал нам позу лотоса. Мы успешно крутили ноги в узлы, нам было это несложно. И в общем, с йогой у меня первое впечатление было очень позитивное, радостное. Йога у нас получалась в детстве. Потом с йогой я не связывалась до 28-ми лет, то есть где-то в это время я пошла на регулярные занятия, которые проходят в йога-студии. И там я нашла преподавателя, которая мне очень понравилась. Она мне подошла как человек, с которым было приятно общаться, приятно заниматься. Она открыла мне йогу и йога стала для меня очень интересной, захватывающей. Но мне достаточно было ходить 2 раза в неделю, заниматься в группе. Некоторое время я ходила, а потом мы переехали жить на Кипр. Походила я в другие места на Кипре и не нашла достойного преподавателя, который мне мог бы заменить моего первого инструктора. И через год, приехав летом в Минск, я пошла в ту самую йога-студию и поделилась своим горем, что не могу найти достойного преподавателя. На что мне администратор говорит: «А сходи сама выучись, будешь самой себе преподавать, другим преподавать, детям преподавать, и вообще это не сложно». Вот с её лёгкой руки я начала делать первые шаги в йогу как преподавателя, я нашла Интернет Йога Курсы на сайте Эти курсы я стала проходить, а потом как-то естественно у меня получилось подать заявку в группу и присоединиться к обучению на преподавателя.