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Embracing Yoga Beyond Asana: Deepening Your Spiritual Practice

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Welcome to a journey that takes us beyond the physical postures of yoga and into the depths of our spiritual practice. Today, we dive into the world of yoga beyond asana, exploring the transformative power of breathwork and mindfulness. Join me as we deepen our connection with ourselves and embrace a holistic approach to yoga.


The Essence of Yoga


Yoga is not limited to the physical exercises that we commonly associate it with. At its core, yoga is a path to union – union of mind, body, and spirit. It is a profound system that offers us tools and practices to cultivate self-awareness, inner peace, and spiritual growth.


Breathwork: The Gateway to Presence


One of the most fundamental aspects of yoga beyond asana is breathwork, also known as pranayama. By consciously engaging with our breath, we tap into the life force energy within us and bring ourselves into the present moment. A simple yet powerful breath practice is the **Three-Part Breath**:


  1. Find a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and relax your body.

  2. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air. Feel it expand.

  3. Continue inhaling, letting the breath fill your ribcage, allowing it to expand further.

  4. Finally, complete your inhalation by filling your chest, experiencing a full expansion.

  5. Exhale slowly through your nose, releasing the breath from your chest, ribcage, and belly.

  6. Repeat this cycle for several rounds, focusing on the sensation of the breath and bringing your attention to the present moment.


Cultivating Mindfulness on and off the Mat


Beyond the physical postures, yoga invites us to cultivate mindfulness – the art of being fully present in the moment. Mindfulness helps us develop a non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and sensations. To incorporate mindfulness into your yoga practice, try this simple exercise:

  1. Begin your practice in a comfortable position, whether seated or lying down.

  2. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.

  3. Observe the sensation of each inhale and exhale, noticing the rise and fall of your abdomen.

  4. As thoughts arise, acknowledge them without judgment, and gently bring your focus back to your breath.

  5. Expand your awareness to include the sensations in your body, the sounds around you, and the overall environment.

  6. Practice this mindfulness of breath and body throughout your yoga practice, staying present in each moment.


Embracing Yoga as a Way of Life


Yoga beyond asana extends beyond our time on the mat. It is a way of life – an invitation to infuse every aspect of our existence with the principles and teachings of yoga. Embrace mindfulness in your daily activities, cultivate gratitude, practice kindness and compassion, and seek opportunities for self-reflection and growth.



Closing Thoughts


As we dive deeper into the realm of yoga beyond asana, let us remember that the physical postures are just one aspect of a rich and transformative practice. By incorporating breathwork and mindfulness, we open ourselves to a profound connection with our inner selves, the world around us, and the divine. Embrace the holistic essence of yoga, and let it guide you on a journey of self-discovery, spiritual growth, and deep inner peace.


With love and light,


Crystal Borup


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Written for anyone who has an interest in learning more about yoga, and wants to understand and explore yoga beyond the physical (asana) practice. This book contains yoga teachings and practices, as well as personal experiences with insight into what yoga really is and how it can help you live a more fulfilling life.

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