"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living." ~ Anaïs Nin
This week, take a deep dive with us into some classes that explore the depths of yoga philosophy and offer inspiration and insight into the yogic path. All yoga is valid and works simultaneously to benefit physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some days a juicy physical practice is what you need, other times you’re seeking a deeper message.
Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga path is described and analyzed in the Yoga Sutras. The text depicts the yogic journey toward Samadhi or enlightenment in practical steps. In theory, the path is simple, but Patanjali emphasizes that it isn’t easy. This week’s classes delve into various philosophies to help you not just stretch your hamstrings but also to expand your perspective on life.
1. Yamas - The five moral restraints
2. Niyamas - The five moral observances
3. Asana - Posture
4. Pranayama - Mindful breathing
5. Pratyahara - Withdrawing the mind from senses inward
6. Dharana - Concentration
7. Dhyana - Meditation
8. Samadhi - Absorption / Enlightenment / Union of Self
The first two steps on the eight-limbed path, the Yamas and Niyamas, are excellent building blocks on your yoga mat and off. The Yamas can be interpreted as attitudes or behaviors. The Niyamas are the five internal practices or observances, and both combined are tools to help you live life to your highest potential.
The first Yama and foundation upon which the rest of the path is based, is Ahimsa, which is avoiding all forms of violence to yourself and to others. A = “not”, the absence of, the freedom from” and Himsa = Violence, Killing, Judging, Harming.
Often, students assume Ahimsa is limited to actual physical harm but in fact, the concept is much broader. Ahimsa means avoiding harming yourself or others through judgment, criticism, or negative talk which diminishes a person’s well-being. How do you speak to yourself? If you listen, you may notice you are tougher on yourself than you would ever be to friends, family, or even strangers.
Practicing Ahimsa encompasses being compassionate, patient, loving, kind, and understanding to yourself and others. Practice releasing fear so you can expand your ability to be loving and compassionate. Step onto the mat today with one of this week’s classes to help you on your path.
Deep 30 Vol. III Mark Morford (New!)
Evening Enlightenment Yoga - Jackie Casal Mahrou -
Everyday Yamas Ahimsa - Kristin Gibowicz
Mindful Movement - Elise Fabricant
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