Our exploration of the Yamas and Niyamas continues this month! Please see below!
Several announcements for February!
Specialty Classes in February:
Functional Movement: I will be teaching Therapeutic Yoga for Shoulders and Hips on Saturday, February 20th, 2:30-4:00 pm, at Body Grace Fitness and Yoga in Vienna, VA. Addressing movement at the largest joints of the body, this class will use small, mindful and gentle yoga-inspired therapeutic movements and a connection to natural breath to help participants become more deeply attuned to moving in an optimal range of motion that quiets tension and nurtures calm in both muscle and mind. Please reserve a spot with Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mood management: I will be teaching another LifeForce Yoga for Balancing Mood class on Saturday, February 27th, 2:30-4:00 pm, Body Grace Fitness and Yoga in Vienna, VA. Reserve a spot at email@example.com.
Amy Weintraub visiting McLean, VA in March! Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga for Depression, will be conducting a LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood: Depression and Anxiety workshop on Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 1:00-5:30 pm at the Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center. I am excited that I will be there assisting! Contact yogafordepression.com for more information.
Practicum continuing through Spring! My practicum in functional movement continues through this spring. Contact me to take advantage of the special one-on-one, 5-session rate and help yourself find a path to greater ease, fluidity and flexibility in your body. As my teacher Susi Hately says, “Your body doesn’t lie.” Book a private session for a personalized approach to cultivating your awareness and ability to listen to your body's messages and learn how to relax and improve your stability and strength at the same time. Give yourself the path to greater health and healing in 2016!
February is here and we move another step along the path of our 2016 journey studying yoga’s ethical principals, the Yamas and Niyamas! Last month we started by looking at the principle of ahimsa--non-harm--and considering how we treat ourselves and practice self-care both on and off the mat.
Our stop this month is Satya—the Sanskrit word for truthfulness.
What makes up our truth?
In yoga, there is a belief that the whole of who we are is made up of several layers, commonly called sheaths. These layers--that together comprise all of who we are—include of course our physical self (with all of our various tissues); our emotional/energetic self; and our mental self, with the seemingly never-ending flow of thoughts that run through our minds.
I suppose we can think of these first three layers comprising both ‘our tissues and our issues.’
How lovely, right?
In addition to these three, there are 2 other layers. One is the layer where wisdom resides. This is the wisdom of the intellect, with which we can cultivate the ability to step back and notice--without judgment--what is happening in our sensory body and to the other three layers of our physical, emotional and mental selves. And then finally there is the layer of bliss, which is accessed in the silence, when the mind can cease it workings and we can connect to the essence of who we are.
So here is the thing: all of this makes up our truth.
Each and every time we come to our mat, we bring all of this with us. And it is our complete truth in that present moment.
We bring our physical self, emotional and energetic self, mental self, as well as our self of wisdom and self of bliss. All of it comes along. The key is, as we step on our mat each time, we actually do best when we honestly honor what is present and recognize the truth of it. By doing so we cultivate the wisdom of the inner observer, quiet the voices of judgment and nurture the practice of self-care—allowing truth to hold hands with the principle of non-harm that we learned last month.
Of course, this can be very hard work. But it is Real. And as Debroah Adele explains in her book, The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, being real ‘comes from the center of our unique essence and speaks to the movement from that center’. She further tells us that ‘Living the life that cries to be lived from the depth of our being frees up our energy and vitality. We benefit and everyone around us benefits.’ Whereas ‘suppressing that life, for whatever reason’, takes a lot of our life energy just in the managing of the pretending.’
So this month as you engage your practice on and off the mat, draw mindfulness into the truth of what is present. Honor it with self-compassion. Allow truth to hold hands with non-harm . . . and be at ease.
To close, I’d like to share something more about mindfulness and truth. A good friend of mine, Martha Brettschnieder, who happens to be both a brilliant and gifted writer and garden photographer, just released on Amazon her new book - Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me that Calm is the New Happy. Her book is available for purchase here: http://amzn.to/1nFlIKd
I share this because at its essence, Martha’s book on mindfulness is about awakening to the ease and joy of acknowledging and accepting one’s own truth. I think her story can benefit anyone looking to embark on a similar journey. In addition, if you would like a chance to meditate on her breathtaking garden photography, I encourage you to visit her website: http://marthabrettschneider.com. Prepare yourself for great beauty.
With light and love,
Blog Archives including Heart Tree Yoga's Yamas and Niyamas Study from January-December 2016 and seasonal newsletters.