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Yoga for EVERY Body.

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 12/7, 12/9, 1/11, 1/13,  2/8, 2/10

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6 Comments
Atmarupa

Resilience - A Quality to Build


Are you resilient?


Physics defines resilience as the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.

How does this apply to life? Why is this a quality to cultivate? How can yoga help?

When I am facing the stresses of life, I feel like I have a strained body and I may also be dealing with a strained mind and spirit. I sometimes feel that the stresses are a compressive force that creates a sense of contraction within the physical body, a feeling of deformity in thoughts, and depending on the magnitude of the stress, a diminishing of spirit.

Some of you may be thinking, “But you are a swami! How can you be so affected?” Yes, I am a swami, but I am living out in the world, running a business, maintaining a household and interacting with all sorts of people. I am experiencing the usual struggles and challenges that life presents to all of us.

The advantage I have is resilience! And that resilience comes from my yoga practice. Even in my darkest moments, I know deep within that this is just the play of duality and that the light will shine again. I use my yoga practices to recover, to stretch my body to its full expanse releasing my physical contraction against the world. I breathe and breathe, increasing my energy stores to support my recovery. I do yoga nidra to calm my mind and to rest deeply. I do my mantras, and more mantras, to connect with a higher source of spirit. That source always willing to reestablish the connection that I may have temporarily turned from in my darkness. The source that shines the light I have been missing.

But I am tough. I bounce back from my difficulties. I have been cultivating resilience for a long time. It is one of my best qualities.

You can have resilience, too. Engage your yoga practice with full awareness and don’t give up when you falter. Know deep inside that it will support you, nurture you and strengthen you to better face your life.


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2 Comments
Atmadarshan

Deepening What We Know

When I was in India a few months ago, the head of our tradition, Swami Niranjanananda, announced that the focus of yoga needed to change. For the past 50 years, the motivating force has been expansion, and that has been achieved. Yoga is almost everywhere – in studios, gyms, schools, prisons, advertising. It has taken on an almost infinite variety of forms – Doga (yes, yoga for your dog), paddleboard yoga, yoga & chocolate, yoga & wine, PiYo etc. If the current rate of yoga expansion continues, then statistically everyone in the US will be practicing yoga by 2040.

Where do we go from here?  Swami Niranjanananda says that the goal for the next 50 years of yoga must be deepening what we already know. This applies to our personal practice as well as yoga in general. Instead of striving to add on new techniques, new styles and new variations, seek to truly master what you have already learned.  Sure, you have done natural breath awareness countless times, but have you perfected it? Can you stay awake and connected through an entire shavasana or are you still drifting?

Returning to the foundations of your practice can bring new and fresh insights, as you are not the same person now as you were when you started yoga. Reading about the theory behind the movements can make your poses even more meaningful. Keep digging deeper into what you already know, and you will tap into a wellspring of wisdom, peace and calm you never knew existed. Your yoga practice – and your life – will move to a higher level.


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