September 16, 2012

Travel as Integral on The Yogic Path

I can admit that my favorite things to do in life can be summed up in what I call “The 3 T’s”- Teaching. Training. Traveling. These activities have created the most joy in my life, especially when done with my husband and partner in crime, Dr. Michael Bittner and have also kept me on and with that humble path toward everyday enlightenment. 

Why is yoga important?

As Michael states in his September 8, 2012 blog titled The Bendy Antidote, yoga addresses all three major dimensions of your being- mind, body, and spirit. Whether through asana practice, Pranayama, mindfulness meditation or all three activities simultaneously, yoga brings us face-to-face with our whole self, front and center with the truth of our experience, up close and personal with our beliefs, and intimately and unabashedly in relationship with others. It’s importance lay in that truthfulness, that Satya; all of it. Not everyone is ready for that kind of in-depth examination and many run from it in fear because it is so raw and naked. But, if we listen closely to what it has to tell us, we can learn a lot about our role in this lifetime; a lifetime that most of us are just passing through, seeking meaning.

Why is travel important?

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” This quote alone not only speaks to the benefits of travel itself but embraces the very elements of yoga on the deepest of levels. When we travel we experience the world as it is- raw and naked- like we embrace ourselves on the mat. We come into union with moments of beauty and selflessness when our daily lives, full of “responsibilities”  drift into the periphery and all that is truly important comes into vivid focus. When we travel we think think deeply, contemplate on higher levels and see the world in a more holistic way; free from our supposed human differences, just like we do on the mat. This remarkable transformation strips us of those prejudices, bigotries, and narrow-minded thoughts and we begin to see the world as an approachable community of like-minded individuals all seeking one thing- happiness.

How do yoga and travel compliment one another on the path to Enlightenment?

Ah, Enlightenment! That “place” that many of us are looking to get to and don’t realize that we can experience in daily life. Enlightenment: According to Buddhism and Hinduism is the blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana. 

The practice of yoga gifts to us this blessed state- on the mat, on the cushion or wherever we choose to crete space for this discipline. When we travel, we take in the world and all of its glorious moments as an observer and learner, free from desire and suffering and acutely focused on the experience itself. Much like we do on the mat, when we are in that moment, we free ourselves from suffering and transcend the things that have little importance to focus our attention on those of most importance.

YogaTravel are meditations in motion; spaces in our practice that keep us walking one step at a time on the path to enlightenment everyday.  Bringing the two together is integral on the path of a yogi and also a lot of fun!



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