WHY PRACTICE YOGA?
DECEMBER 4, 2010. We have lots of new friends in yoga class which I'm totally stoked about! And one of the greatest things about new students is how they teach us to really think about Why we practice yoga? Taking a step back lets just explain how cool it is that yoga is something we "practice". We are not trying to conquer it or complete it or perfect the crap out of it, we just show up and practice. That's all. And what is yoga really? Donna Farhi, Master yoga teacher and author says, “In its broadest sense yoga is a return to wholeness. There is an uncompromising belief in yoga philosophy that wholeness is our implicit birthright. But most of us forget our wholeness, or in yogic terms we forget our true nature, and we live in a kind of illusion that we are alone."
As a result we end up suffering from a kind of SPIRITUAL AMNESIA that makes us feel separate from our authentic selves, separate from others, separate from feeling better. Yoga is any practice that restores this original wholeness and sense of connection with the world.” And really the reason you practice or I practice is both the same and different. On the one hand we all practice yoga to feel better.
And how we go about it is unique and special to each of us. It could be we practice today for physical reasons (to lose 10 pounds), to relieve physical pain, to alleviate mental stress, to process our emotions or even to practice being more spiritual. All reasons are welcomed and all are good. Yoga is exactly what you need it to be for you. It's like taking a field trip to the ocean and we will all focus on one aspect more than another (the sun, the heat, the sand, the sound, the smell, the water).
My all time favorite definition of yoga that I take on as my own as well is by David Frawley, Yoga and Ayurveda:
“Yoga is one of the most extraordinary spiritual sciences that mankind has discovered. It is like a gem of great proportions, containing many facets whose light can illume the whole of our lives with great meaning. Yogic methods cover the entire field of our existence – from the physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual to the highest Self-realization. It includes all methods of higher evolution in humanity – physical postures, ethical postures, breath control, sensory methods, affirmations and visualizations, prayer and mantra, and complex meditative disciplines. Yoga understands the nature and interrelationships of the physical, subtle and formless universes into the boundless infinite beyond time and space, and shows us how these also exist within each human individual.”
So why you show up to practice is yours to cherish and my hope is that by the end of class everyone feels better. That the yoga works to helps us all feel more comfortable being ourselves. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Join me on a spiritual adventure www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
SWEET WHOLENESS WITHIN US
MARCH 9TH, 2009: Today we started by asking ourselves how would we describe our complete selves to someone that didn't know us in just a few words? We silently told this to the person to our right, then our left. For some of us this was easy, for others of us this idea of explaining our complete selves posed a difficulty. We are often really good at describing a part of us, a body part, one aspect of our personality, just our role at work but when asked to describe the sweet WHOLENESS of us we get stumped.
When a hero of mine, Donna Farhi was asked "what is yoga" she responded "In its broadest sense Yoga is a return to wholeness. There is an uncomprimising belief in yoga philosophy that wholeness is our implicit birthright. But most of us forget our wholeness, or in yogic terms we forget our true nature, and we live in a kind of illusion that we are alone. We suffer from a kind of SPIRITUAL AMNESIA that makes us feel separate from our authentic selves, separate from others, separate from nature."
Now I've never had amnesia but I understand how it works I think. And forgetting who we are or how our parts go together is like not remembering. When we are on the mat coordinating the democracy of ourselves together into a pose we regain this connection, we practice remembering to remember wholeness is us. The experience of wholeness is like a coming home after experiencing a lot of different things like a bee visiting flower to flower, a real sweetness (mudhurya) exists here. My hope is that through anchoring our selves back into our body we can use the Yoga to restore this feeling of wholeness and ultimately our sense of connection to the world. Give peace a chance, give your whole life a chance and help me seek to bring a sweet wholeness back to our families, communities and world! Love to you all, Silvia