The Yoga Matrix
The Body as a Gateway to Freedom
The Yoga Matrix has become revered as an invaluable resource for all students of yoga. In this series of lectures Richard reveals how the body can serve as the ultimate laboratory, temple, and place of pilgrimage for spiritual inquiry. Looking back five thousand years to early texts, he observes how the roots of yoga philosophy have grown into many schools, techniques, and philosophies that are united by a vast interpenetrating matrix. This matrix holds the key to understanding yoga’s full depth and greater purpose.
Placement of the gaze on a single point inside or outside the body helps the mind flow into single-pointed meditation. In each posture there is a specific drishti or gazing point, which, in some circumstances, is modified as one goes deeper into the practice. In this talk Richard reveals the complexities and importance of drishti, and explains how the technique is central to the elimination of extraneous tension during the practice. By feeling the palate as “empty,” just as when smiling, the prana (inhale) and apana (exhale) can unite and the yoga can become a full meditation in action.
Prana is breath, life force, inner breath; prana is the substratum of perception. Prana is the substratum of thought, or citta. It is the way that perception is organized into patterns, and it is only through patterns and organization that you know something, that you are consciously aware of something. In this talk Richard details the relevance of breath awareness to a balanced and full yoga practice, and how this awareness draws us into a full and profound understanding of the present moment and reality itself.
The Process of Yoga
In just under two hours, Richard takes us through an exploration of the more subtle aspects of yoga. The Process of Yoga focuses on two internal forces or breaths, prana and apana, which govern the inhale and exhale. Prana rises, spreads, and blossoms. Apana descends, contracts, and roots. Joining them consciously is what Richard calls “the breathing of yoga.”
Richard’s Yoga Chants is an instructional program on the authentic meaning, precise pronunciation, and yogic application of traditional Sanskrit chant. Drawing from the Upanishads and other classical yoga texts, Yoga Chants helps listeners invoke the sacred, to facilitate finding deeper meaning and empowerment in their yoga practice.
An introduction to pranayama and a remarkable guide for calming the mind through simple breathing exercises. In these CDs Richard reveals how every breath you take can serve as a guiding thread into the depths of yoga—a place of freedom and immediacy of awareness that begins on the practice mat and gradually extends into each moment of your life. Yoga Breathing distills the secrets of this essential inner work into two complete home practice sessions designed to guide you, breath by breath, to greater vitality and health.