By Brenda Eppley
Yoga DiscoveryMay 12, 2023
Yoga: Religious, Spiritual, or Secular?
The yogic timeline has evolved to include extensive variations and lineages rooted initially in religious traditions. As yoga continues to gain popularity in the West, its relationship with religion and spirituality is increasingly complex. This episode of the Yoga Discovery Podcast will explore the ongoing debate among students and non-students of yoga regarding the religious elements of Modern Postural Yoga (MPY) and examine if it is possible to practice yoga as a secular activity without any religious implications or components.
Lifting the Veil of Tantra Yoga
Tantra yoga as a practice and tradition is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, particularly when tantra yoga in the modern yoga context tries to align with the teachings and foundations of classical tantra yoga. Modern yoga students may be quite surprised to learn that many of the elements of their yoga practice are rooted in classical tantra from centuries ago and that placing sexual activities at the heart of tantra is a recent construct that originated in the 20th century.
Tantra as a subject is deeply complex, with a history and philosophy that converges and diverges throughout the yogic timeline. Brenda begins to lift the veil of tantra's origins while highlighting the elements of classical tantra that infuse our modern postural practice.
Karma: What It Is and How to End the Karmic Cycle
The Nature of the Yoga Guru in the West
An introduction to the tradition of the yoga guru, with specific attention given to the differences between the yoga guru in the East and the yoga guru found in the West's Modern Postural Yoga. Brenda considers the shift in dynamics of the 1:1 teacher-student relationship that has existed for centuries vs. the modern global guru in which the relationship is frequently surrounded by controversy. This includes an examination of the allegations of misconduct and criminal activity of a few well-known gurus to determine if the nature of the modern guru is a contradiction when compared to the guru traditions that were in place before the rise of Modern Postural Yoga.
An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali
The Foundational Intersection of Yoga and Buddhism
Yoga and Buddhism share many commonalities in their very long histories. Join Brenda as she explores the relationships and overlaps that closely connect these "sister" practices and philosophies.
How to Build a Foundation of Stability and Ease: Sthira Sukhasana
Through active awareness, it is possible for all students to find harmony within their practice by working with the qualities of stability and ease. Brenda works through the concept of sthira and sukha, making the Sanskrit terms highly relatable to time both on and off the mat.
Demystifying our Yogic Breath: Diaphragmatic Breathing and Pranayama
We can all agree that breathing is critical. Did you know that how you breathe profoundly impacts the health of your body and mind? Learn the difference between breathing diaphragmatically and pranayama, and how these practices can be used when practicing yoga, and in your daily life. As always, the episode is condensed and Brenda uses terminology that is easily understood by all practitioners.
Let's Talk About Sun Salutations......!
Have you ever wondered why we practice sun salutations? Where do they come from? And how far back into the yoga timeline do we find surya namaskar? Because sun salutations are so commonly incorporated into modern yoga practices, Brenda shares some helpful things to consider as explore the flowing sequence of surya namaskar.
As always, Yoga Discovery Podcasts are geared towards students who are looking for short and concise explanations of terms and concepts they encounter in a yoga class. Join Brenda as she demystifies and enthusiastically shares her love of all things yoga with you.
Drishtis, and How to Use Them
Learn how a drishti can be incorporated into your practice and improve your ability to focus in the moment.
Brenda defines and provides examples of mantras that are commonly heard in yoga studios.
How to Find Your Dharma
What is Dharma? A Conversation with June Hunt
Brenda talks to June Hunt from Moondog Yoga Studio to learn about the importance of identifying your dharma (purpose/duty). June, a teacher with the Himalayan Institute, introduces and explains the concept of dharma as it relates to the Bhagavad Gita.
An Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita
Brenda provides a brief overview of one of the foundational texts of yogic teachings.
The Condensed Origins of Yoga
Join Brenda as she explains the timeline of yoga in a condensed format.
Introduction to the Yoga Discovery Podcast
Learn the purpose of the podcast and how you can deepen your understanding of yoga's 5000 year lineage.