March 14, 2012

My Body is a Temple: Christina Sell on the Guru Question. [video]

Every asana practice can being with a contemplation about how the practice can serve to bring each practitioner into greater alignment with, and into a deeper experience of the heart—the heart of who we truly are, the heart of the Highest that is at the core, or heart of everything in life. ~ Christina Sell, My Body Is A Temple

This deeper experience of the heart is what has me returning to my mat day after day, year after year.

Christina Sell writes about this in her book, My Body Is A Temple, Yoga As a Path to Wholenessaligning with what is meaningful is a beautiful way to take yoga off the mat and into the structure of our everyday.

Photo credit: Kelly Sell

A dense, inspiring book, My Body Is A Temple is filled with insight and inspiration for deepening our yoga practice, our sadhana. Sell covers many topics in her book, and uses the building of a temple as a metaphor to lead us through the process of developing an integrated yoga practice.

Sell covers many aspects of yoga practice and study—from alignment and studentship, to practice, Dharma and the inner temple, her book deconstructs what we may have thought about sadhana, and offers a new way of viewing our practice from the ground up.

There were a few areas Sell covers in this book that really intrigued me: the idea of studentship (adhikara), the role of the Guru, the idea of practice as an offering of love to ourselves (and the highest), and the concept of the darshan of the heart.

Christina was kind enough to take some time out and chat with me about her book and the newly formed School of Yoga (in partnership with Darren Rhodes, and Noah Mazé). In this part of the interview, we discuss her relationship with her guru, Lee Lozowick, the function of the guru, and the role and pitfalls of a spiritual teacher in modern times.

In what ways can you make use of the teachers in your life? This is a question relevant to the task of building a temple of the body through yoga, not about whether or not one needs a traditional guru. In what ways can we, as students, become increasingly skillful so that the guru function supports and upholds our practice and our desire to become a great temple of divine inspiration? ~Christina Sell, My Body Is A Temple

Which part of ourselves are we being authentic to in our practice? Is our current sadhana really serving the needs of our authentic self, or just the personality?

I think this is a great question to revisit throughout our lives as practitioners, since our needs may change, as will the way in which our personality interacts with our deeper self.

Deep bows to Christina for for helping make this series happen!

A little more about Christina Sell:

Photo credit: Kelly Sell

Christina Sell has been practicing yoga since 1991. She is the author of Yoga From the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body Through Yoga, and My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness. Christina is the 2012 Art of Asana columnist for Yoga International Magazine and a regular contributor to Origin Magazine. She is a faculty member on Yogaglo, which provides online global access to yogic wisdom. Known for her passion, clarity and creativity, Christina’s classes are challenging, inspiring and dedicated to helping people of all ages experience the joys of yoga practice and conscious living. Christina is the cofounder of the School of Yoga and offers workshops, trainings and seminars locally, nationally and internationally. She is committed to bringing traditional practices and teachings to modern life. Christina is a devoted student of Western Baul master, Lee Lozowick and credits his Influence as the spiritual inspiration behind her life and work. For more information about Christina, please visit her online here and here.


Editor: Tanya L. Markul

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