The first spiritual text my dad gave was this copy of The Bhagavad Gita. It was at a time when I was struggling with my relationship and my purpose & place, and all far from home. Since that time a copy of The Gita has been something we both keep close by, but we haven't really talked about with one another in great detail. So this past week when he was here, I asked him what it means to him—what he gets out of studying it.
Recently, I have spoken to a few different people about yoga teacher training — how to choose one, what to expect, etc — and with a few more inquiries popping up over the weekend, I thought it'd be useful to share some thoughts more widely here...
Like Varuna water is an incredible teacher, showing us how to move with grace, ease and determination. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what's familiar. It does not waste energy resisting, but flows onward with resolve. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance.
Sound is a powerful force that, along with being able to bring that sense of peace and well-being, can make human beings feel love, hurt, and joy. It is a potent energy that can express love and concern, or cause great pain and destruction.
When we talk about sadhana we are not talking about any particular aspect of yoga. Sadhana is any daily spiritual practice that allows oneself to turn inward and perceive life as it truly is. Everything can be sadhana. Everything you do becomes a spiritual act if you do it with awareness. Awareness transforms even the most mundane act into sadhana from the way you eat, the way you sit, the way you stand, the way you breathe, the way you conduct your body, mind and your energies and emotions.
The way we breathe is the way we live. Breathing is absolutely essential to life, but it’s often overlooked as a necessity for good health. Full, free breathing is one of the most powerful keys to enhancing physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. This is why learning to breathe consciously and with awareness is a valuable tool in helping to restore balance in the mind and body.
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga. Traditionally, yoga and Ayurveda were practiced hand in hand and understanding that Ayurveda is part of a complete yoga practice is integral to a comprehensive class experience. Together yoga and Ayurveda work toward helping a person achieve health, happiness and longevity. According to both practices, such health is achieved by harmonizing our unique body, mind and spirit composition with the changing cycles of nature. In understanding your dosha (mind-body type) and how it's reflected in your daily routines and yoga practice, you can better select practices that best serve your unique nature for a lifetime of health and healing on an off the mat.
The Universe has a way of tricking us. We believe we have it figured out, then life sneaks up from behind and teaches us a major earned lesson. And it can change with the blink of an eye.The good thing about yoga is that it can be with us all the time; it is not limited to a yoga mat. In fact, by learning how to cope with hard poses on the mat, we have the opportunity to carry that same knowledge off the mat. Though this is no easy task, and like the poses themselves, requires practice.