One of yoga’s greatest benefits is the process of tuning into your thoughts and emotions and understanding your own personal truth. When we utilize the tools of a consistent yoga practice, we learn to tune out distractions and external influences and listen to our internal voice. Avidya or mistaken perception is ignorance––the fundamental inability to see things as they are. The practice of yoga is moving away from these misperceptions toward Viveka, the ability to discern and see clearly.
The physical practice aids us in relaxing our muscles and begins the process of delving deeper into our psyche. Yoga teaches us that all we need is within us, we simply need to pay attention. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras include the eight-limbed path of yoga. The Niyamas, or moral observances, are tangible steps to achieve a calm and peaceful mind.
One of the Niyamas is Svadhyaya, which means self-study. Svadhyaya includes the study of texts and authors and teachers, but it also means self-examination and reflection. Through mindful movement and breath, we can eliminate disruptions and focus on our thoughts and feelings. Simply giving your mind a break for an hour to focus on sensation and breath gives you space to reflect more deeply. We become quiet enough to study our beliefs, to listen to our inner knowledge.
Through physical practice and meditation, we learn to control our reactions to what is happening around us. Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.” Yoga Sutra 1.2 Citta Vritti Nirodhah. Maybe that simply means you can be patient in challenging situations that triggered you in the past. Or that you can stay present during uncomfortable circumstances with the knowledge that everything is temporary. Yoga can help you learn to tune in to your intuition and act upon it.
As a result of being present in your practice, you can attain greater concentration, mindfulness, and clarity. This week’s classes will help you on your journey to a more balanced, joyful outlook on life. And, of course, feeling stronger and more supple on the outside supports inner strength!
Robert Sidoti - Morning Routine to Start Your Day
Christen Bakken - The Conditions for Joy
Jackie Casal Mahrou - Happiness Flow
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