The invitation of Yoga

October 4, 2010

In my practice and teaching Hatha Yoga – the physical asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing) – are an invitation to explore your phyiscal body in space and time. And from this experience to be invited to be present to all that is outside ourselves. The more aware and at home we become in our own bodies the more compassionate we can be towards ourselves and that just grows outwards towards all beings. The work of Yoga on the mat is a profound practice of presence.

One of the teachers who has inspired both my practice and my teaching is Don Stapleton. He has a practice called Self-Awakening Yoga. His approach is an organic and somatic invitation into YOUR body and spirit. It is beautiful.

Many wisdom traditions throughout history consider the body to be a temple for the spirit. In order to create a conscious and functional relationship with the body, I prefer to begin with an image that is less grandiose than a temple. A temple is an awesome destination. Going to a temple requires that I leave my home and my everyday life to seek contact with the divine. There are times and places for this journey, moments in life when pilgrimage to a place beyond home is desirable and appropriate exactly for the separation from everyday life that it affords. But, I choose not to approach the body in this manner.

Rather than a temple of magnificent marble columns and lofty spires, I am inviting you into an image of your body that is more personal, more like a cozy seat in front of a hearth shared with your most trusted friend. This trusted friend beside you is yourself – not the icon of a supreme being, not an authority on mystical transcendence, but your own inner advisor. – Don Stapleton, Ph.D

Yoga is a profound and practical practice of becoming more present in this physical life we have been gifted. And, the more present we are the more responsible we are for a our actions in this life. And, the hope is then – that the more apt we are to choose love as our response.

megaredfish song of the moment:


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