Yoga- hope in painful times.


It is and will continue to be a challenging time. I hear and read that many friends and students are very depressed, upset, angry, scared and motivated. We all hope for growth and light to come from these dark times.

Each of us has our own path and our own reason for being here on this earth; our personal dharma/duty/responsibility which is svadharma. Your constitution and karma will define who you are and how you respond, what you do, and how you act.

Arjuna was a warrior and he had to fight the battle. At the start of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna, a magnificent and skilled warrior, is literally falling apart because he doesn't want to fight against family members on the other side of the battle field. This battle comes after many many attempts to resolve the grievances. He is crying to Krishna, his teacher/guru and Krishna tells me, you gotta do it, it's your dharma, you are a warrior. This very deep and much more complicated than my simple point here to use it to illustrate how we all have our paths and our dharmas. (Scholars please excuse me, there of course, could be much more said about this.)

Whatever you do that is in line with your svadharma, is right.

Your practice can be a sanctuary to soothe your nerves and prepare you to be in an equilibrium to do what you need to do. It can be a retreat or a training ground.

Everyone’s approach is different and unique and aligned to who they are.

What this path does teach us is that any feeling that comes up …feel it. Feel it completely and it will move through you to enlighten you. On the mat, we don’t avoid discomfort or fear but step by step move towards it and through it.

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The ultimate and the only goal of yoga is unity. This requires practice, self reflection, facing those demons, listening to yourself, listening to others, building bridges and tearing down the walls inside and out.

I, personally have always been a proponent of start with yourself. I have been in communities and careers where we were working to resolve the injustices on the outside - a very noble and important cause- but without doing the internal work. And all those inner battles and fears and walls and disconnections would come spilling out and distorting the intent of the work. It’s easier to look outside than in. But this is where our strength comes from, unification with our self. And this means some hard, honest work.

Yoga means UNION. Keep your eye on the prize.

Practice support

If you are feeling overwhelmed and depressed - do supine, supported postures that keep your chest lifted.

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If you are feeling anxious and angry and unsettled - do some jumpings and release some of that disturbed energy

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If you are feeling ungrounded and floating at sea - do some standing poses and focus on grounding the base- imagine roots growing out of your feet, imagine the earth up to your knees.

If you want to shift your perspective - do inversions.

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If you don’t know what poses are in the categories I have recommended, email me or join an online class this week.

Be safe, be healthy. Excuse any typos here (thanks to Susan N for helping me out but in my haste this week, I might have not been as thorough as I could be. Especially in my slight mention of the profound text of the Baghavad Gita.

#iyengar #yoga #unity #blacklivesmatter #baghavadgita

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