Yoga with or without the poses
Many long years ago, one of my students was in a very difficult phase of her life; recently divorced and in the process of redefining her life. She said to me “You talk about the peace, the focus, the clarity - I don't feel it. I feel good in class but my life is a wreck and I need a step-by-step program I can follow to get from wretched to serene.”
I never forgot her request. It has become the main theme of my work. The practice of yoga postures might not cut through the heart of your suffering. For some, it may feel like just another workout; a band-aid at best, or worse, it could be another place for you to compare yourself and feel small. There are some amazing teachers out there who will tell you to keep practicing, and I don't disagree with that. There is value to that approach. But there is so much more you could be doing.
The whole purpose of the practice of yoga is to settle or still those patterns of the mind (ego) to know your true nature. Those patterns include but are not limited to:
-constant internal dialog that colors your experience of the world
-internal nagging, criticizing
-the underlying belief system that causes you to worry about things that you can’t do anything about, fear or judge things you don’t understand, hold back from living fully
-feelings of inadequacy or lack
-envy or self-loathing
Stilling the mind is a way of dropping the curtain of distraction and division so you can be your radiant, beautiful self, and see; really see.
Asana works beautifully for some yet it is only a sliver of the grand array of practices discovered, explored and compiled by the ancient yogis to help settle the mind to know the Self. But if you are spending the rest of your day adding to the mind's agitations, it may not be enough. And that's why I created a new blog.
Generally I plan on posting once each week. I’ll share some of the mental yoga I’ve practiced for most of my life, and a plethora of other practices to help settle you back into your true nature. I’ll share meditations along with of tips and practices that make meditation, and life easier. And I’ll weave in some asana support as well.
The good news is you won’t have to wait for full enlightenment to realize great benefits. Your life will begin to blossom in ways you never imagined. And if you do have a physical practice, you will be delighted how many ways you can deepen and support it. If you are interested in finding out about some of the other 95% of what yoga is and join in on the conversation, get on the email list to receive these weekly lessons delivered to your inbox free.
When I was first starting out, although it all seemed a bit esoteric and overwhelming, (it was, after all, the early 70s) I wanted to pull out all the stops and find as many ways as possible to release myself from my ego patterns. I was interested in freedom, as promised by yoga. In the decades since, yoga has been my life raft, my vision, my compass to finding my true north.
Is there any yoga-related thing in particular you’d like me to write about? Let me know what you’d like to see in future posts. Share your ideas below and you may inspire others...