This has been said over and over again but it holds true. We in the west have places too much emphasis on the external practice of yoga. In particular in this era where the image is more important than the content. I am not innocent in this matter so I restrain from pointing the finger. However, it is my sincerest hope that through my sharing what little I know of this vast and complex science that is Hatha Yoga, someone will be willing to go a little further, beyond the physical practice and start doing the internal work. Again, I am not the most adept at being steady with my meditation practice or even applying the Yamas and Niyamas into my daily but I try. That is all that one can do really isn't it? Try to go a little further, try to understand a little more, try opening up and sharing, try not being afraid of living fully, deeply, and completely with love.
Here is an illustration that I found on the internet credited to the Raleigh NC Yoga website. It is a nice and easy reminder of all eight of the pathways to liberation. A guide as it were to how to live correctly, holding space for your truest self, and knowing that you are an extension of God/dess. A being of incredible light and infinite possibilities.
This is a reminder for myself as much as it is for everyone else.
A little portion of my practice and preparation for next week's group classes.
Sometimes it is believed that an asana practice has to be full blown and sweaty when in reality the body sometimes just needs to move with a gentle and purposeful flow in order to open and soften. This will be our focus these next couple of weeks in class. Exploring our core and opening our hearts and minds to our amazing possibilities while accepting and learning to work with our limits.
I received this beautiful note in the weekly newsletter from teach.yoga, a site for yoga teachers led by Elena Brower, a woman, yogini, mother, that I appreciate fully.
A good reminder that we have to start with the self in order to make the world a better place. Everything begins with you. Everything.
Finally mustered the courage to get up really early to practice on this sweet platform on the Seine. After a much needed break from my Vinyasa practice, took it easy and worked on the foundational asanas and a couple of fun transitions too.
Recently, another teacher in the neighbourhood apparently stated that Vinyasa is a really difficult practice and I do not agree with this in the least. It is a DYNAMIC practice indeed and should be approached with attention but difficult? Only if you make it so. Granted some people should take time to become familiar with asana through a more relaxing practice before jumping into Vinyasa (i.e. people with back pain, injuries, or absolutely no connection with their bodies) but usually with the guidance of a good teacher and the willingness to listen to and FOLLOW the cues given during the class either directly to you or in general, Vinyasa is not difficult. It builds strength, concentration, heat, detoxes the mind and body, and is powerful in opening up the channels of the subtle body.
If you have ever wondered about Vinyasa, please do not let these fancy videos of people floating around, jumping into handstands, or wrapping their legs around their neck deter you. For the most part, the practice is what you make it. You want to float, you'll maybe one day do so. You want to have a solid foundation- and alignment-based practice and not that interested in the hopping about on your hands, you can do that too. Do not let someone outside of yourself dictate your practice, if it is difficult, etc. Find your inner yogi and go with that. At the beginning and at the end of the day, this practice is yours.
Today I received these sweet words in my inbox from one of my favorite yoginis, Elena Brower. A simple, sweet reminder for self-care. Everyday.
What You Give
It's time to quiet down and give to yourself.
Read, write, bathe, before you take care of someone else. One act per day of touching your own heart; follow a book, or an online practice, or just sit quietly - all perfect places to start. Once a day. And it doesn't need to be for hours either - a few minutes will help you reconnect to your center and land you in a good, grounded place for re-entry.
Take care of others but be sure to take care of you too.
Photo by Carine.
life, peace, and prosperity through movement.