A Steady Ease in Asana
I have taken much yoga training and though I cannot claim a thorough knowledge of the Sutras I definitely get the gist of the classical text.
So I begin with a mind that veers toward quiet to explore one of the Sutras on Asana: Sthira Sukham Asanam.
The idea is that the seat one takes can be steady and full of ease. Now that was written a long time ago, when yoga was more about meditation than asana.
Yet remember asana literally means to take a seat and the goal in any yoga pose is to find the balance between strength and effort, ease and steadiness, to allow you to be present to the moment, whatever it holds.
When I think about yoga today in the West I find joy and reason to celebrate that many now do yoga, if only asana, if only to break a sweat. As a teacher and practitioner this offers no conflict for me.
Yoga is a deep file. And most individuals have a depth that is, if anything, kind of scary.
Yoga takes us in. Yoga, Western yoga with a focus on the physical, takes us into our heart, quiets the mind and opens the spirit. So if most of my students only want asana that does not bother me. Because even if they are only doing asana and don’t care about Patanjali or the Bhagavad Gita, they are finding the ease and steadiness in themselves and in life by practicing asana.
For me yoga has been a life-saver in many ways. Yoga has kept me on a path of wholeness. Yoga has helped me connect to my heart. Yoga has brought me into my body. Yoga gives me a means to make a living and share the joy I feel when I practice. Yoga helps me find ease and steadiness in life. Yoga keeps me visiting meditation.
Yoga is about engaging life and self to yoke the various parts together into a place of oneness.
Yoga does this for me every time, whether teaching or practicing.
Today I practiced and did not cry, yet. Yoga takes what’s inside and shows us what’s there and helps the joy come through as well as the sadness.
Yoga for many is asana. Yoga for others might be meditation or kirtan and devotion or study and the Vedas. Yoga is big enough to hold all of us. And it does not matter what door you choose to walk through, the one you’ll meet on the other side is you.
And more often than not, the you meet is the you who you always wanted to know. It’s the person who gives freely, loves openly, needs honestly and cares deeply.
Basically I believe we all have gifts and we all are born with original goodness. Yoga helps each of us find that in ourselves and therefore, each other.
But don’t worry, I know better than to think because someone does yoga or teaches that they are free of issues. All the problems you find in corporate America you find in yoga because yoga is made of individuals who have faults and weaknesses like anywhere else in society.
But the good news in yoga is that with time and practice, however we choose to practice, we can find the ease and steadiness within to live life with a little more grace every day.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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