January 10, 2014

A Serious Yoga Practice?


How serious should we take our yoga practice?

The new solar year has arrived. 2014 is slowly starting as the engines of our hearts and minds are getting back on track. Some were able to disconnect by taking vacations, while many continued working and a few others enhanced a deeper immersion into their Yogic path.

Recently, I had the fortune to attend the Ashtanga Yoga Paris Christmas’ Satsangs led by senior teachers Linda Munro and Gérald Disse. As I keep studying and advancing my yogic path, I feel that Yoga guides us towards our ‘colorful center’.

A dedicated practitioner is one that does not wait till the starting or end of any cycle to bring changes in life. As we take our yogic path seriously, we are committed to evolution in life, we are constantly undertaking sva-dhyaya, self-study. We are planting seeds everyday; internal ones that bring us closer to our colorful center and external ones that inspire positive changes in others.

By connecting closer to our colorful  heart center we become more aware of our true inner knowledge,  we allow our heart to take the lead of our lives. We become more aware of our duties in our world.

As my teacher Linda says, ” those that live free from suffering are those living from the yogic heart, not from the physical heart, but the heart center. When we connect to it, we are more connected with the divine. The divine; be it God, nature, universal love, magic, life energy, connection with others…”

Yoga offers us many ways to go for it. There is no one way, but there are numerous paths to take. It is clear that once we find the right one for us, we should commit to it, cultivate it with significant effort, and most importantly, take the practice and study of yoga seriously.

As Linda said, “as human beings we are part of the world and we are meant to be part of this world. It is impossible to be at peace when we see the world suffering. ”

By taking our yoga practice seriously, we are not only flowing on our mats, but we are taking our practice off the mat and actively participating in our world. As we are fully committed to our practice and study, we are constantly committed to gaining true wisdom, which eventually transforms our deeds and actions into multipliers of well being.

As George Feuerstein said, “Knowledge we are told is power. That is it gives us the means to navigate intelligently in the world. Wisdom is a still more wonderful thing. For it allow us to navigate skillfully, that is with circumspection, empathy and compassion. ”

As a serious yoga practitioner, we are aiming not for the fanciest handstand, but we are aiming to live our lives off our values and in balance. It seems like an easy job to pick and choose our values, but to put them into practice in our daily lives, our jobs, with our family, community and our world requires serious yoga.

This relates to a life in constant evolution, surrounded by good, happy, and virtuous people. Living life fully with integrity, compassion, love, and creativity…serving our community and taking a big part in our world.

By practicing and studying seriously the immense science of yoga we are able to:

….slowly gain wisdom and gradually develop our true art of conscious living;

…feel lighter in our heavy and dense contemporary world;

…feel fully connected to our duties, while empowering our hearts to take the lead;

…feel healthier in our physical and mental bodies;

…fully connect to our dreams and our real needs;

…become happier and peaceful beings.

According to Feuerstein, the sages said in the Katha-Upanishad (1.3.14) : the path is sharp as a razor’s edge, hard to cross and difficult, but also infinitively rewarding.

I feel grateful for all yoga practitioners, especially those  who are constantly practicing, studying and teaching, taking their Yoga seriously.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photos: courtesy of the author

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