Namaste Right Here

Namaste Right Here:

“Yoga is, first and foremost, a science of self-realization. Its main concern is spiritual practice, mainly through meditation, to take us beyond the sorrow and ignorance in the world. It teaches us how to love from our outer bodily and ego-bound identity reaching towards our immortal self that dwells within the heart. Yoga provides the key to all spiritual development, which in Vedic search means gaining knowledge of our true nature beyond time, space, death, and suffering.”  —Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frowley

If you are a yoga practitioner you will appreciate David’s words here. Western or American Yoga has become a whole new entity of its own unfortunately. It comes packaged in cute head bands and lulu lemon or Victoria secret yoga pants and sexy sports bras. I must even admit I started my yoga practice as a form of fitness and by all means it is a physical task. I have always been a competitive person. I thought yoga was perfect for me with my gymnastics background, and I wasn’t mistaken…BUT yoga became so much more for me and I needed it more than I could have ever imagined. The “self-knowledge” part of yoga I found through my personal practice is why I teach and what I hope to share with those around me, on and off the mat.

The asana or physical postures of yoga are what most people think of when they hear the word yoga right? Some skinny girl with perfect abs standing on her head…Yoga actually means to yoke or unite the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga in fact has eight limbs but we usually are familiar with only two of them; the physical practice (asana) and the breathing (pranayama). The original eight limbs are as follows and would traditionally be applied in order:

1. Yama- moral codes

2. Niyama- self-purification and study

3. Asana- posture

4. Pranayama- breath control

5. Pratyahara- sense control

6. Dharana- concentration

7. Dhyana- meditation

8. Samadhi- contemplation and enlightenment

For me, I definitely started with a physical practice and developed over time, a more profound understanding of myself internally. I started to become more aware of my own body and mind. Especially how I react to certain things I eat, times I sleep, people I surround myself with and how they make me feel. I started to analyze my reactions to situations and in turn began to better understand the things in my life that were important. Yoga and meditation over time help to release that ego and that attachment to this physical world and all the objects in it.  Yoga helped me slow down in this crazy stimulant driven world and start to stay still long enough to hear and feel what my heart and body are asking of me!

9 responses to “Namaste Right Here

  1. Most people here start their yoga at a physical level, but with how big yoga has gotten my hope is that the more people practice, the more they start to make it an entire mind, body, spirit experience…even if that wasn’t their first intention. I feel like after a while of practice it is almost impossible to not feel the other subtle changes that occur to your mind and spirit…

  2. Yoga is the beautiful union of mind, body and spirit. which can help to clear away the many layers of unneeded clutter we can accumulate throughout the years on this journey called life… The physical practice is amazing but as Sara has said there is so much more to yoga than asana. As a student and teacher I feel it is important to let the heart stay open in yoga don’t become to rigid around ideas and thoughts about yoga, it is living and breathing and has a transformative power all of its own when practiced the knowledge will come..One of my first teachers Barney says no need To even read (although it is ok ) just practice the limbs and yoga will occur naturally through the movement of Prana… The great masters teach it is the yoga that transforms not them.

    • Thank you for your beautiful input Corinne! Anytime you have more to share please do!

  3. I had an almost out of body experience during savasana about a week ago and it reminded me how differently my body seems to vibrate after a yoga session. It was especially powerful when I got up every morning in February to do the same sun salutation + vinyasa flow routine. I would light my candles and smudge the room with incense. I played soft music and experienced my living room as a magical, mystical place of peace.
    These kinds of testimonies are powerful and they help me keep up my practice. Thank you, Sara, for posting this and getting this beautiful discussion flowing. I would like to add this blog from my friend Jono. He is a great writer and a beautiful person.

    Enjoy his story:

  4. Sara, do you think you could do a post on yoga poses that correspond to our different chakras? I found a site yesterday, but I feel you could provide more insight and personal experience.

    • Absollutely mina! That shall be my next task! I have some information on it at home that I can share!

  5. Although I have not practice yoga much, it was only until I was abroad in rural Peru and attending classes in the small town I was living in, did I start to realize how much more of an experience it is, more than just physical, or asana portrayal of yoga advertised in the US. I have also gone to an amazing place called The Healing House, located in Cusco, Peru where I had probably the most complete yoga experience yet. (Google ‘the healing house cusco’ to check it out. It is an amazing place.) I would like to find some sort of place in Portland where it isn’t too expensive and yet a more rounded approach to yoga than the dozens of places that offer and really only teach of the posture and breathing aspects. As a newbie, I have also felt intimidated by instructors and other people in the class because sometimes there is a sentiment that surrounds the VS yoga pants and sexy sports bra where people claim, “Oh yes, I do yoga” with an air of snootiness that just off putting. Thanks for your perspective, Sara!

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