In Yoga Journal's new online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness,Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, will share a seven-week yoga and meditation experience that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and transform your relationship with the universe. Sign up here to learn more!
As part of Yoga Journal's upcoming online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, legendary integrative-medicine and meditation expert, Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, will guide you through a yoga practice that incorporates Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, to help you experience greater health, joy, and peace in your life. Each day for the next week, Platt-Finger, who teaches at ISHTA Yoga in NYC, will offer you a yoga pose that illustrates one of the seven laws, and explain how it can benefit your practice and your life. Please take #thespirituallawschallenge with us, snap a selfie of yourself in the pose, explain what you learned from the law and the pose, and post it on Instagram @yogajournal and @chopracenter and @splattfinger. Two of our most dedicated and insightful challenge-takers will win the course for free, and also get free tickets to Yoga Journal LIVE! New York!
Spiritual Law 3: The Law of Karma, or Cause and Effect
The Law of Karma, or Cause and Effect, says that every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in kind. When we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
The Pose: Tadasana
I like to think of Tadasana as standing and connecting to the earth with awareness, and the Law of Karma is really about bringing awareness to the choices we make in life, Platt-Finger says. It is a reminder that every choice has a direct effect, and that applies to the choices we make in our yoga practice as well. Ask yourself, "How am I choosing to hold myself up? Am I rolling to the inner or outer edges of my feet? Am I locking in my knees? Am I sinking in my lower belly? What effect does that have on my lower back, my chest, my neck, and my head?" We can see very clearly the Law of Cause and Effect in Tadasana, because every joint in our lower body shifts and influences our upper body, and the entire pose in general. By making conscious decisions about the way we place our feet and organize our body, we create a new external framework, which creates a whole new internal experience.
Place your feet about inner hip-distance apart, and align the heels behind the widest part of the feet. Lift all 10 toes up off the floor, spread them apart, and lower them back down. Sense that you can suction the floor up through the soles of your feet. Notice how that engages your quadriceps and creates a subtle lift through the pelvic floor. Allow the lower abdominal muscles to support the lumbar spine. Feel the side ribs expand and extend your arms alongside your body. Bring the palms to face forward, making space across the collarbones, and then relax the palms in by your sides. Soften the tops of the shoulders and feel your head and neck ease. Relax your jaw.
Enhance the pose:
Close your eyes and bring your palms to touch at the center of your chest. Keep the thumb and pinky fingers touching and move the middle three fingers away from each other, moving the palms of your hands just below your chin. This is called Padma, or Lotus, Mudra, and it will help you to connect to your energetic body in the pose.