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Yoga 101

Listen to This Instrumental Yoga Playlist After a Long Day



Sometimes after a long day, all you want to do is chill out and not listen to anyone speak. This instrumental yoga playlist will do the trick.

Try this instrumental playlist as you flow slowly through your vinyasa yoga practice.

Have you had a long, stressful day? Well, our instrumental yoga playlist is just for you. This playlist will calm you down and leave you in a peaceful state. Whether you are cooking dinner or practicing yoga, you should give this music a listen; we promise it will leave you relaxed and satisfied before heading to bed. 

See also Wake Up and Flow: A 60-Minute Yoga Playlist to Slay the Day

15 Instrumental Songs That Will Help You Relax After a Long Day

1. “Threnody,” Goldmund
2. “It Must Have Been Love,” Herb Keys
3. “Message in a bottle,” Enzo
4. “Free Fallin’,” Midtown Stories
5. “The Gift,” Gavin Luke
6. “Happier,” Emelie Norstadt
7. “Crash,” Arms and Sleepers
8. “How Far I’ll Go,” Carmen da Silva
9. “Home,” Joanna Vicente
10. “What a Feeling,” Alison Gilbert
11. “Painting The Horizon,” Deep Inside
12. “When We Were Young,” Robert Mendoza
13. “For Her,” Zoe de Vera
14. “Far and Beyond,” Charles Bolt
15. “Dancing With a Stranger,” Carmen de Silva

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Download the free Spotify software to listen to our playlists—and check back weekly for more of our fave yoga tunes.

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Energy Medicine Yoga

Energy Medicine Yoga: How to Feel Your Aura




Attune yourself to this subtle energy field through Donna Eden’s simple exercise.

An aura comprises seven energetic fields that surround your body, and every person’s aura is so unique it could be a blueprint. Just like other subtle energy systems, it needs to be cleansed and purified, so it can invite healing energy into your orbit and screen those that are more harmful. Interestingly enough, the aura also bridges positive energies to the chakras and other energy centers. Here, Donna Eden and Lauren Walker—who share practices to help cultivate a strong, healthy aura in Energy Medicine Yoga—share the first step in this process: Attuning yourself to your aura with a simple exercise. 

In YJ’s new online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body, renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy, which affects your mind, body, and spirit. Through simple tools and practices that blend energy work with yoga, you will learn how to activate your innate healing for greater balance, vitality, and well-being. Find out more and sign up today!

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History of Yoga

What is Yoga? Understand The History Behind the Practice




A myriad of historical information exists, so let’s start with building a foundation.

Learn how to pronounce yoga, what it is, and how to practice it. 

How to Pronounce “Yoga” Correctly

The correct pronunciation of yoga is “yogh”. 

What is yoga? 

Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago. Sri Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali around the second century BCE and is said to have called himself simply a “compiler of yoga principles” from ancient Vedic texts. Sutras means threads, or philosophical guidelines. Patanjali describes yoga as chitta vritti nirodha, which roughly translates to “you are in a state of yoga when you can still the mind into presence.”

See also 7 Forgotten Early Yoga Teachers in America with Stories You’ll Want to Hear

Learn about the most ancient language on Earth, Sanskrit. 

How to Pronounce Sanskrit

The correct pronunciation is “sunskruth”.

What is Sanskrit, and how does it relate to yoga? 

Sanskrit is one of the most ancient languages on Earth. It is a deeply meaningful, spiritual language that is often described as poetry in words and sounds. But like any language, just because something is written in Sanskrit does not make it a religion or immediately valuable. Opting to use Sanskrit should be an informed choice.

See also Sanskrit 101: 4 Reasons Why Studying This Ancient Language Is Worth Your Time

Yoga is more than the physical practice. 

Yoga in India versus Western Yoga

Yoga in Western society often misrepresents the physical practice, known as yogasana, as yoga itself. Jnana Yoga (studying spiritual texts as yoga), Bhakti Yoga (devotion as yoga), and Karma Yoga (community action as yoga) are more ancient forms of yoga with little or no physical posturing. Classical yoga, however, is a holistic practice comprising eight limbs—the physical postures being just one element of finding peace in oneself. My Aunt Vrinda in Mumbai has been practicing yoga throughout her life and describes it as the following:

“Yoga has been such an essential part of my life. My grandparents were so yogic in the way they lived their lives. I remember their simple, non-materialistic lives based on deep human values: love and compassion, helping others who were in need. So when I was ready, the Universe cooperated to send me a teacher who taught me to look at life from a very different perspective—beyond just a set of asanas (poses). The entire gamut of Patanjali’s teachings were slowly introduced to me and my fellow students so subtly and imperceptibly that we found ourselves living by the yogic precepts without any major effort on our part. I am truly grateful.”

See also Yoga Philosophy 101: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Wisdom for Everyday Life

It’s important to be aware of India’s residual suffering and reconstruction after colonization.

History of Yoga: British Colonization of India

In Western society, we benefit from yoga and its adaptations. There’s been a surge in studios with trainings, clothing, equipment, and retreats. Practices evolve naturally over time, but as we freely participate in yoga, it’s important to be aware of India’s residual suffering and reconstruction after colonization.

Recounted in the National Archives, the British formally took control of India in 1858 after hundreds of years of takeover of Indian lands and companies.

Shashi Tharoor, PhD, an Indian politician and former international diplomat serving as a Member of Parliament, underscores that “violence and racism were the reality of the colonial experience” in India. He notes that under British rule, India’s share of the world economy plummeted by 20 percent. Millions of Indians died of starvation. They were required to export their rice supply and the cloth they wove themselves, which they had no choice but to buy back at higher prices. Though India fought for and won back its independence on August 15, 1947, Tharoor reminds us that “racial and religious tensions were the direct result of the colonial experience.” We see this in the disdain for and prohibition of spiritual practices such as yoga, which India is slowly working to restore as a holistic way of living for all.

There is no exact amount that can make up for loss of loved ones and for the undermining of social traditions under colonialism, Tharoor says. “The principle is what counts. Not the fine points of what and how much. The question is, ‘Is there a debt?’”

As we engage in a practice that’s designed to connect us, let’s continue to ask ourselves and one another questions. The path to individual and collective healing is yoga itself.

Rina Deshande

About our author

Rina Deshpande is a teacher, writer, and researcher of yoga and mindfulness practices. Having grown up with Indian yoga philosophy, she rediscovered its profound value as a New York City public school teacher. For the past 15 years, she has practiced and shared the benefits of yoga across the globe. After studying yoga and mindfulness as self-regulation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she designs curriculum for science research and K–12 education. She is the author of Jars of Space, a new book of handwritten and illustrated yogic poetry. Learn more at @rinathepoet or

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What Oprah Winfrey Knows For Sure About Finding Your Life Purpose




Oprah Winfrey believes that living for yourself is honorable not selfish. She shares what she’s learned about setting meaningful intentions, finding your flow, and embodying your most authentic self.

The simple act of asking “What is my purpose?” on the Internet has the power to elicit nearly one billion responses. 

That’s a staggering commentary on the way so many people feel about who they are and how much they long for an existence that matters.

On the surface, typing those four little words… what—is—my—purpose… and pressing enter may seem trivial, but it’s really a profound reflection of an intimate prayer rising from the deepest part of the heart. It’s asking to be acknowledged. Initiating that search is a sign that the journey toward an elevated life filled with meaning and character is ready to begin.

And here is the great news. Beyond the labyrinth of digital links, there is really just one being who holds the keys to unlock the answers to all that you were meant to become. That miraculous soul has been speaking your entire life. Of course I’m talking about you!

I believe every one of us is born with a purpose. No matter who you are, what you do, or how far you think you have to go, you have been tapped by a force greater than yourself to step into your God-given calling. This goes far beyond what you do to earn your living. I’m talking about a supreme moment of destiny, the reason you are here on earth.

Each one of us has an essential role in the whole of humanity. All you have to do is follow your path to answer the call.

See also 8 Poses to Cultivate Courage and Reduce Self-Consciousness

In the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Committing to a life of purpose takes courage. There was a time in my own life when I felt torn between who the world was telling me I should be and what I felt to be the truth of myself. Today, I know for sure what I’m here to do. That’s because I started listening to my instincts and paying attention to the decisions I made each and every day.

If you’re at a crossroads in your career or relationship, if you’re struggling with finances, with addiction, or to take control of your health, the journey to lasting change begins with defining what matters most to you. All of us have a limited number of years here on earth. What do you want to do with yours? How do you want to spend your precious, ever-unfolding future? There’s no need to waste another day wondering if there’s more to life. There is. And it’s yours for the finding.

When you’re ready.

Read Oprah Winfrey‘s new book, The Path Made Clear, for inspiration on finding what matters most to you.

Excerpted from The Path Made Clear. Copyright © 2019 by Oprah Winfrey. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

See also Stand in Your Own Power with this 8-Minute Guided Meditation

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