Thoughts on yoga
The practice of yoga has had a profound effect on the lives of millions of people worldwide. It is a transformative science that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. You don’t need any special equipment just the desire to try. What you bring with you is yourself and what you take away is your “Self”.
The practice of yoga is analogous to the molding of a piece of clay or the carving of a sculpture. As one begins, the first gains come rather quickly and the physical figure starts to take shape. Then the work becomes more intensive as the true beauty beneath the surface begins to reveal itself. This requires mental determination and focus. Finally, one must learn to use finer tools and meticulous detail in order to render the masterpiece hidden within the clay or stone. Our connection to that practice is where yoga happens.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The popularity of yoga is certainly on the rise in the United States, but when you look beyond all the media hype, you will find that there is so much more to yoga than just the latest exercise craze. Yes, yoga is an ancient Indian science that involves breathing, movement, and meditation. But, it is so much more than placing your body in a series of poses to stretch your muscles. It is learning how to connect your inner Self to this body that occupies space on this planet. It is learning to breathe in movement with that body and focusing the mind to control that movement.
My yoga practice has profoundly changed my life and the lives of those around me. The moment you truly begin to feel the “yoga” in your body is the moment when Yoga will change your life too! It may be hard to imagine how a few simple exercises blended with breath control and meditation can lead to such profound changes, but it’s true.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union” or “to yoke together; to join”; a union of the mind, body, and spirit (the spirit of the Inner Self). Through the diligent practice of yoga postures called asana, one begins to connect the simplicity of movement to every task of your daily life. You discover how to move more gracefully through your day, with less aggravation and more vigor. Your mind is at ease as is your body. That is when the union of your Inner Self connects to the Universal Spirit or the Divine.
On a personal note, I have spent the past eight years of my life practicing weekly and over that time I have come to understand who I am as a person and what my strengths and weaknesses are. Yoga relates those quite well but in the gentlest of ways. My vitality has increased to the point that I feel better about my health and well being than I did when I was 18. Practice is the key. Practice, practice, practice! With each practice I discover new possibilities within myself. I respect where my body is day by day and I have no expectations of what I am capable of on any given day. I seldom get sick any more and the confidence I have in myself (my Self) continues to grow. It is that confidence which has led me to become a yoga teacher.
As a teacher, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a student find their own connection with yoga. It is like turning them on to the “Fountain of Youth”, but it’s really the fountain of yoga. If you are interested in learning more, please refer to the schedule of classes on my Blog for specific days, times, and locations. In the immortal words of the dear departed Sri Pattabhi Jois, “Do your practice and all is coming.”