Finding time to develop a consistent practice is one of the biggest challenges a student faces as they being to travel down the path of yoga. It takes discipline to step on the mat every single day for any length of time. Once your practice is established, there is a multitude of events that can occur and derail it temporarily or indefinitely. One of the most common is an injury.
Over the course of my 15 years of practice, I have injured myself many times—mostly when off my mat. I’d love to say that these injuries didn’t disrupt my dedication, but the truth is that several times I let their occurrence keep me from doing asana for weeks and even months at a time.
The ways in which injury can disrupt a yogi’s journey are many but the two most common are:
Fear of pain or aggravating the injury keep you from engaging in any physical activity and take you completely out of your practice.
Your ego gets involved and you try to “muscle your way through” your asana without adjusting inten...
2)offering your whole vulnerable-imperfect-human self
3)channeling the cumulative consciousness of the day so that your offering comes from a tapping into something larger than yourself, rather than the ego.
All of the anatomy, cuing, sequencing, Sanskrit, philosophy and even to some extent, the theme weaving, can be more or less taught; but, as I once heard retired Boston Celtics player, Kevin McHale say, "You can't coach effort." And the three keys to success really come from putting in the effort. It's not easy to show up to classes with only one or two people for a few years, and still bring it vulnerable style, but if you do, those one or two people will come back, and then they will tell their friends, and then they will start coming with their friends, until eventually, your community--those interested in what you have to offer--will grow.
Our foundation is essential to being able to move in the world with a sense of freedom and peace. If we do not feel safe, grounded, steady, there is not the space or energetic prana available to focus on more in depth practices and the subtleties of living an awake life.
A practice utilizing the Chakra system can be one way to start harnessing our attention and focusing our energy towards connection with earth, our bodies, & the world around us so that we can have a life that is more balanced and easeful.
Muladhara which translates to root chakra, is the first chakra of the 7 located along the spinal column. It is located at the center of the pelvic floor, is associated with the color red, and the bija (or seed) mantra used for this chakra is the sound LAM. It’s main focus in the body is survival, taking care of one’s self and others, and primal instincts. It’s energetic qualities are stability, preservation, sustainability, balance, and awakening. Emotionally it affects one’s confiden...
Normally, when I sit down to write a blog post, I begin with some sort of big idea, revelation or declaration that makes a clear and concise point. As I sit here in the woods outside of San Marcos, Texas after having spent five days doing 30 hours of asana, hours of chanting mantra, seemingly endless meditation (you know it feels like that sometimes) and a good dose of writing and reflection everyday, I feel calm and really, really tired. Not only that, I have so opened myself to the universe that makes up a yoga asana intensive – new people, new poses, new ways of looking at the practice and myself – that nothing feels sure, except for the process of practice.
There has been a lot of conversation during this intensive about how lucky we are to have a teacher who is, as my fellow student Livia Cohen Shapiro so intelligently phrased it, “smart, but relaxed.” When she said this during our closing circle, we all laughed, because we understood how true it is. C...