Atha Yoga Anusasanam (PYS 1.1)
The honor of your presence is requested on the illuminating path of Yoga…
When: Now. Yoga, union with your highest consciousness, is available in every moment. Any time you sit and examine your thoughts, take an aware and curious breath, observe sensations in your body, question your thought patterns, or open yourself to experience any moment in its pure expression, you are entering the sacred realm of yoga. Come early, come late, come and go as your life situation allows. You will never be turned away at the door. You will never be asked to leave. Come for an hour and stay for a lifetime!
Where: Anywhere. Yoga can be found anywhere you look for it. You can come into silence in a crowded bus station. You can turn inward during a packed sporting event. You can find it in a studio, your living room, in a quiet corner…standing on your head, or sitting on a cushion. It is in the forest, by the sea, and on a mountaintop. The potential for peace and connection is always within you, wherever you are.
Why: Because, quite simply, Yoga makes everything better. Your body will become healthier, stronger, and more flexible. Your mind will begin to quiet. All those limiting thoughts that play on a continuous loop, often without notice, will start to wilt under the spotlight of your scrutiny. And in the silent spaces they leave behind, new and inspired ideas will arise. Your emotions will level out as the habitual thoughts that drive them slowly fade. In stillness, you will recognize that feelings ebb and flow, that all are worthy of notice, but none need to highjack your experience. In silence, you will gain a deeper understanding of your spiritual essence. You will become increasingly aware of your connection to all of creation. You will experience greater compassion for the suffering in the world. You will become a master of accessing your deepest internal wisdom. Your relationships will transform. As you learn to recognize your triggers, and notice when you are outsourcing your peace of mind, you will change the way you interact with the people in your life. When somebody disappoints or upsets you, you will turn the finger you are pointing back to yourself. “What’s WRONG with him?!” will give way to, “Why is this upsetting me? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Have I let a boundary be breached? Have I failed to communicate my truth clearly?“ You will carry the personal responsibility you develop on the mat into your interactions with others. You will recognize the madness of trying to change other people, and embrace the opportunity to allow them to introduce you to unexamined aspects of yourself. You will naturally gravitate towards supportive relationships that nurture you, as toxic people fade from your life.
BYOB: Bring your own Beliefs. Yoga is a spiritual path to self, not a religion. It is compatible with all belief systems. Come inspired, or skeptical. Dedicate yourself to the practice and watch it wind its way into every crevice of your life experience. Regularly coming into still and curious presence can completely overhaul your life! Bring your own Body. Yoga will meet you wherever you are…healthy, hale, injured, frail…there is a practice for YOU! Bring your own Breath. It is the magic key that unlocks limitless possibilities. You can use it to increase your vitality, reduce your anxiety, and place yourself squarely in the center of the moment you are in. You will be shocked to discover how much you’ve been missing! Bring your own Burdens. Apply yourself reverently to your practice. Allow for the possibility of healing. Stop the endless analysis, and surrender to the practice. Be patient and optimistic as unexamined trauma unravels, unexplored agendas are released, and unexpected grace fills your heart. The door of the cage must be uncovered before it can be opened. Yoga will help you see that you are trapped in a prison born of ignorance. As you gain wisdom and insight into your hidden drivers, you will take back the reins of your life and your healing.
The Yogis believe that if you have found your way to yoga in this lifetime, you have been here many lifetimes before. You are a card-carrying member of the community of seekers. You deserve to be here. You are so very welcome. Perhaps yoga is not for everyone, although I believe it is. But for anyone interested in a life of self-reflection, and ultimate freedom from habitual unconscious limitations, this party is not to be missed. We’ve set a place for you at the table. No need to RSVP.