What Yoga Means to Me
‘Yoga’, as a term, means different things to different people. The textbook translation of yoga is ‘to yoke’; to merge two things together into unison. The irony is that the word yoga in and of itself has two meanings. There are the practices of yoga such as mindful movement (asana), breath control and release (pranayama), concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana); and then there is the state of yoga, which is the state of wholeness, when we are present in the moment and miss nothing.
On a practical level, for me this translates to relationship; the dynamic between ourselves and others, between the body and mind, and our body and gravity — our relationship to the earth. So, an aspect of the practice of yoga is about how we relate while we are in a state of duality, to come to a balanced unity.
An aspect of this is about self-responsibility, or learning to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions so that we may tend to these relationships and intend for them to go in a direction where we are not separate or isolated, but rather, together; united.
The yogic practices recondition, restructure and rebalance the body and mind, so that we can become more aware of our own placement and participation in the world we live in, dissolving the boundaries between us and ‘other’. When we learn to see ourselves as the part of the ecology, or fabric of the world we live in, we care more and are cared for. Many of the obstacles in turn, either slip away, or become less enormous. Life becomes more steady and easeful….or our discerning mind becomes less fixated to the judgements that bind us into patterns of friction.
I believe that understanding our frame of how we are in our bodies and in our minds leads to the awareness of how we are in the world, and this can foster positive change and add dimensionality and depth to our lives and those around us.
My yoga classes are influenced by the Jivamukti method, Iyengar yoga, and my experience as a Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner. A focus on breath awareness is helpful in slowing down and regulating our life force (prana). Physical alignment helps to focus the mind and stimulate the connection between body and mind. Music can help to wake up the senses and evoke meaning. I pay special attention to assisting students into a deeper state of physical and emotional awareness.
Having traveled through many layers of shedding the physical skin, it is with great gratitude, joy and humility that I hope to meet you there.