"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."
Hope everyone has a great weekend, which has me thinking, I used to live for the weekend. Now, I see the importance of living what I love during the week-- finally after making changes to do what I enjoy. So much better than a race to the finish line... to then feel I can relax and enjoy.
Let’s ask God to help us to self-control: for one who lacks it, lacks His Grace. The undisciplined person doesn’t wrong himself alone–but sets fire to the whole world. Discipline enabled Heaven to be filled with light; discipline enabled the angels to be immaculate and holy… - Rumi
Two words have popped into my awareness lately. Discipline and focus. When worked together in synergy, what an unbeatable combination. Miracles can happen. The practice has a way of refining this capacity. Through the rhythm of the sequence, Tristana, puts it all into perspective. Simplicity at it's best. Dristhe, Posture, Breath.
Ahimsa would suggest that the foods that you ingest should cause no harm to you are anyone else. Questions that surface when contemplating Ahimsa and diet:
Aparigraha deals with taking only what is necessary and letting go of attachments. Questions that surface when contemplating Aparigraha and diet:
Sauca deals with purity and cleanliness. Questions that surface when contemplating Sauca and diet:
Santosha deals with being satisfied and content. Questions to contemplate:
Tapas/Disciplined Use of Energy
Tapas deals with the heated energy it takes to stay disciplined. Questions for diet and Tapas:
Svadhyaya deals with self inquiry and studying things that will promote self improvement. Questions for diet and Svadhyaya:
Transformation has to take place!
Direct. Simple. Fierce. Love it.
Being in the yoga world, so to speak, comes with a fair amount of interesting baggage. And, when I say the yoga world, I am referring to the modern interpretation of it. I haven't understood why nowadays it is about having the "right" things to say, a beautiful and limber body, or a big dose of charisma to establish yourself as a yoga teacher, but not only that, a yoga expert. It's doesn't seem to add up. Techniques and quick fixes into postures don't make an informed yoga teacher, necessarily. But then it goes back to the question, "What is yoga? What does it mean to practice yoga?" It looks like this topic will have to be summed up in another lengthy blog post. I mean, I don't have all the answer(s) (obviously), but at any rate, they are essential questions to ask and to revisit from time to time. Like I find myself doing.
The best advice I had ever received when I began teaching yoga was two-fold. First, teach as a practice in itself, and at the same time, never sacrifice my own practice to teach. What I teach must be a part of my experience, part of my daily practice. It then emanates from and through me. Energetically, I find you can't really fake this one. Maybe for a while, but it doesn't last for long. Two, being transparent to the method/practice I am teaching. Meaning, keep it pure, taking my own judgment/spin-off of it. Taking myself out of the equation. Being more concerned with teaching the method correctly than having the desire to be liked and/or approved of. See, being transparent doesn't necessarily mean being devoid and without passion for what is being transmuted. If anything, it seems to invoke even more passion and wisdom when it comes to teaching. Emptying myself, being open to allowing the wisdom to work through me, is the residual effect from practice and has a way of naturally unfolding. Call it grace, call it what you will. The more I empty, the more the energy and wisdom come through. I lose individuality. I expand into something bigger than myself.
Of course, there are days when it is harder to connect than others, but then again, it goes back to looking to teaching as a practice. As time goes, the intuitive nature grows. There is an expansion, there is a deepening. The practice of teaching breathes unto itself.
What I have come to understand is I can always take a break from teaching, no problem, and resume it again as long as I continue my own practice. In many ways, it is the same. You can't learn this stuff in books. You have to walk through the fire daily on your own volition. The experience is the teacher. Books, yoga trainings, and the myriad of workshops are the mere 1%. Theory can be talked about until kingdom come, but experience, well, it can only be felt into the reality of who we are. The formless, unspeakable, unexplainable part of who we are. The gateway, conscious breath. The path, breath synchronized movement, vinyasa. We experience yoga. The journey and the destination, in union.
I don't understand the need for a stage. Getting the hands dirty is where it's at. Into the nitty-gritty of what my students are about and what they are coming to know about themselves. It's about them, not me, and at the end of the day, I couldn't be more fulfilled coming from this place of ultimate service. I am learning just as they are. In a way, I come from a place of being a teacher's student when I teach, because I always find myself being a student. A mirror image. A transparency develops between the two relationships. This is where the juice is - In the interdependent relationship that develops within ourselves and how we approach the practice. Between us, our teachers, and the community we find ourselves connected to. I find it fascinating. The roles we play seemingly melting into each other. A synergy that speaks louder than words because what we experience is energetic in nature. The unseen reality. Isn't that what we are tapping into anyway?
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley
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