GPS and Google Map users know that “Current Location” is important. Without moment-by-moment updates to the moving blue dot, the important left hand turn could be miles behind you. Even without technology we know this to be true – imagine trying to drive to New York City without knowing if you are in Ohio or Nebraska? Or trying to get home after being dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar wilderness?
It’s pretty clear, knowing where you are is the first step in getting to where you want to go. The same is true with a yoga practice. To reach the final destination, we need to know the place from which we start.
If only there was an App for that?
Fear not! Ayurveda and Yoga are the ancient downloads that give us the tools for our modern lives. Not only will they help us understand our unique starting point, but they will let us know if we habitually veer to the right because of that hitch in our hip (the one that could take us miles off course.)
When looking at our yoga practice and how it is serving our path, we want to first take the pulse of the moment. What is the state of our:
~ Current imbalance (Dosha) -- and how far down the road are we, ~ Quality of mind (Guna) -- is it fast and furious or cloudy and confused; ~ Energy (Prana) – what are the levels, movement and quality; ~ Inner fire – is it strong or weak and how much debris needs to be burned?
If we jump into a practice without considering these elements, then we may simple end up wandering around in the woods for days or years. If we are lucky, we may find our way home, but it will most likely either be a happy accident or the result of grace.
Instead, we could learn the skills needed to navigate mountainous territory. We can learn and develop the tools that place us squarely on the landscape. “Let’s see, it’s well past noon, and the sun was on my left on the drive up just an hour ago, and it is still on my left. If I want to return to where I started, I should probably turn around.” Or “I’m feeling really overwhelmed today, and I really want to thrive, so maybe I can do a practice that strengthens my inner fire.”
Developing such skills, we can make wise choices about how to find our way home. I will understand if the hot, flow-y yoga class will serve me better than the sweet, gentle one. While intuition always plays a crucial roll, wisdom can takes us even further – just like those who spend a lot of time befriending the woods have more skillful tools to help them get home. We too, by developing an understanding of yoga and Ayurveda diagnostic tools, will be better able to get back to road that leads us to our final destination.
April 6th we will be delving into these tools in our first Advanced Yoga Sadhana Training - Vinyasa Krama: Where Ayurveda meets Yoga and where to go from there.
Sunday, April 6 10am - 4pm Co-Luminate more information at www.ASimpleVibrantLife.com
The proper order of things is important. Imagine frosting a cake before it is baked, or pumping gas without removing the cap. Everything has an important sequence, from eating (chew then swallow), to building a house (foundation first please), to sleeping (lie down then cover up).
Even a yoga practice has a proper order. We start at our unique beginning, and move to the final goal.
The final goal is often forgotten in our culture. Are we focused on getting a fit body, flexible hamstrings or achieve handstands in the middle of the room? These may be possible side effects of practice, but they are not the purpose of it. According to the ancient texts, the goal of yoga is to experience the authentic Self -- the one free of doubt, fear, conditioning and limitations -- and be sustained in that experience. This is big S self we are talking about. The deepest, core, most authentic Self who is yearning to live fully in this world.
Yoga is not just about "knowing thyself", it is also the means to get there. We practice postures, breathing techniques and meditation, not just to be flexible and stress free, but to be guided back to our intrinsic nature. That part of us that knows what to do, just like the acorn knows how to grow into an oak.
For the past 10 years, this ancient wisdom and practice has been my companion, helping me navigate the dark-times and untangle my unconscious beliefs, as well as celebrate the light as I step into my raison d'être. The deeper I go into my practice, the more "me" I’m willing to become.
When I call myself a Yoga Teacher, it’s not about giving a good work out or helping someone achieve an externally prescribed form. It's about empowering them to connect to their own authentic integrity, from the inside out. It's about sharing a body of knowledge -- ancient wisdoms that transforms us to be BOTH fulfilled AND free in our modern lives.
This is the foundation of the Advanced Yoga Sadhana course I'm thrilled to be launching April 6th. A wise progression through yoga, we start with the tools of Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga, which allow us to see where we are, and finishing with the tools of Classical Yoga and Tantra, which take us to the final goal.
A practice, like most of life, when executed in a wise progression, has a steadiness, easy, elegance and efficiency that is transformational. I hope you will join me in this journey.
In gratitude to all who guide me... Namaste, Munay and Blessings,