This practice of revealing the less polished aspects of ourselves increases my comfort with pit stains during Yoga practice. The more I let myself be human, the more that sense of being at odds with myself diminishes.
I had no capacity to hold the strange, mystical, devastatingly beautiful nuances of this world -- better yet, this Universal Truth. The Universal Truth that we are Everything experiencing Everything at all moments.
At the time I had no clue that's what I would define him as (and all the wise and loving Yoga Life Coach souls I would connect with as mentors, healers and friends), but I certainly understood that he was changing my life. We were changing my life.
Depression is real. It hurts, it is debilitating, and it kills. We should not dabble in what we don't understand. We need to begin creating more understanding. I used to feel ashamed, now I wear it like a badge of honor.
We know that the way we react to everything is powerful, and as we stand on our Yoga mats transforming our conditioning and bringing down more love and light, how much deeper is that if we know that head to toe we are representing this aligned loving action through what we wear.
I found myself in the moment, while standing in Tadasana. In chanting Om, I found a sense of community, In Child's Pose, I felt support, In Bridge Pose I felt strength, in Happy Baby I found happiness, in Downward Facing Dog I found stability, in Vinyasa flow I found a source of release, in my first handstand I felt free, in Tree Pose I found life, in Butterfly Pose I found openness, in Savasana I found lightness, and when I brought my hands to heart center, I found love within myself.
This chakra is a deep violet leading into white. Its element is Thought. But, funnily enough, you can't think this chakra into opening. The way into this magical and Divine world is by Being. This chakra, being the door to the Divine, does not become imbalanced. It will either be open, partially open or closed.
Read Part I here.
“Yoga gives people of all ages the ability to grow old gracefully and stay in shape with lowered stress,” says Cosmo Wayne of Bikram Yoga in Austin, Texas. “My students share all kinds of success stories of reduced blood pressure, assistance with diabetes, faster healing, stronger digestion, and better sleep.”
Yoga does not treat age at whatever age it is like a disease to be cured. Getting old is not the problem since growing older can be accomplished by anyone who lives long enough. Yoga assumes asanas are good for everyone because the practice produces a stronger, healthier body with increased resistance to disease.
“Health is the chief idea, the one goal of Hatha Yoga,” says Swami Nikhilananda in Vivekananda: The Yogas and Other Works.
In recent years, the Harvard University neuroscientist Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, who...
In India, as well as in Kenya, Nigeria, Mali and South Africa, to name a few, there are traditional designs and techniques which are very unique and beautiful, of which I'm sure there would be a big demand in Europe, USA, Canada... for colorful, vibrantly patterned Yoga bags.
The only way I truly know if I'm making a 'yogic' choice is that I feel at peace with it. That it comes from a place of conscious intuition, instinct and that it feels right. This has become my foundation and center point in all my decisions, even if others don't like it.
Over time, our practice can help cultivate a deeper understanding about what we need and how we need to look after ourselves. When to move, when to be more passive. When to challenge ourselves, when to be more compassionate and gentle. What to put into the body, and what to put out.
Yoga is not an anti-aging product, nor is it an anti-aging therapy. But, a case can be made that is an effective and credible strategy for becoming and staying healthy, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I started to need Yoga on a daily basis. I started partying less and drinking less. I listened to my body more. Yoga enabled me to tap into the Inner Source within myself. Moving through the postures breath by breath, moment by moment, helped me to listen to what my heart and soul were saying to me.
From the pronking of a gazelle to the waddle of a penguin, each creature carries the history of a few million years of evolution, evolving from cellular solution to matter in ever more elegant and sophisticated patterns. The human is the single bipedal creature. This evolutionary push has given us tremendous advantage, particularly with the use of our upper limbs. As we all re-enact this upright maneuver when we learn to walk, there is a tremendous developmental brain push and corresponding body mapping. Yet as we move away from rolling on our belly and up to the vertical discovery of walking, we can sometimes lose our connection to the earth.
I would uncover some unknown part of me and sit with myself in awe, learning to love it, or at least understand and accept what was. I began to see the beauty and purpose in even the flawed parts of me I would have normally hidden away from view. I had inadvertently fallen into a state of grace via 30 minutes of morning yoga.
Contempt for the body, based on its supposedly corrupt, limited and limiting nature is deep in the heart of our culture. And despite the popularity of Yoga posture practice, this also lies deep in the unconscious shadows of contemporary Yoga practitioners. This contempt drives us from its unrecognized depths not only to long for a life after death, to imagine an eternal soul, but also to use and abuse the body in seeking those and other delusional goals, such as physical perfection or moral purity.
Now, on my spiritual journey, I can almost always to see beyond what is presented to me in the physical world. Being able to open to that kind of vision helps me continue to do my part in making this world a more conscious and balanced place. To keep my focus on what I am doing, not on what I can't do.
If you practice Yoga, inquire of yourself: Why am I choosing this teacher to guide me? Maybe you have no idea whether he/she is skilled. Maybe the time works for your schedule. Maybe the quality or safety of the class doesn't matter to you. You still should ask. If you're considering enrolling in a teacher training, ask yourself: Why do I want to take this course with these teachers at this studio? If you're a Yoga teacher or studio owner, ask yourself: Why do I want to teach? Why do I want to run a 200-hour course? There is no right or wrong answer. The point is: We should all be digging deep. Or, as we yogis say, it's time to practice self-study, a.k.a. Svadhyaya.
This was the message about forgetting expectations, precision and perfection, and always needing to be accomplishing something. After all, we are human beings not human doings. And in this present moment, I just needed to be. I needed to release and surrender to the ebb and flow of life.
Yoga and meditation have been a huge part of my long-term sobriety. However, I believe this is applicable to anyone who wants to begin a Yoga practice. We all have difficulties in life. The practice of mindfulness is beneficial to everybody.
Yoga is not a problematic discipline.
Practice, and all is coming is a fair description and mantra of what it is. However, sometimes there are disconnects between what it is and what it is made out to be. Bikram Yoga is emblematic of some of those problems.
1. Bikram Teacher Training Guide: “Do not wear green.”
According to Bikram Choudhury, green is an unlucky color and is banned from all his studios. “Please try to avoid the color green. Don’t ask, just try.”
Problem: Green signifies rebirth and growth. The Green Man of pre-Christianity was a symbol of fertility. Among Muslims, it is a holy color. In Ireland, it is a lucky color. However, circus and traveling showmen in Australia do consider green to be bad luck.
2. “How many Rolls Royces do I own? I don’t know. 35?” said Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram Choudhury owns many Rolls...