Affirmation of the Month:
Bri Winton’s Practice Tips:
Ahimsa: do no harm.
How can we follow advice like this in a physically intense hot yoga class? How many times do you hear 'that class kicked my ass'? Or, 'I didn't even break a sweat this time'? How do we find the balance between working and resting?
Remember our favorite saying: energy follows intention? That's the secret.
Is an ass kicking class bad? No
Is an overly easy class bad? No
So what is the goal?
Answer:be mindful, get to know yourself, and then grow!
The most important part of any class is that you participate in a way that is both safe and growth inspiring!
Be mindful : know your limits, day to day. Don't hold yourself to yesterday's standards or to tomorrow's dreams. Be honest with where you are today, and practice in that space. From a space of mindfulness comes the ability to set realistic goals and intentions. When we align with our honest potential, the only result is growth. So go get it!
Jeffrey Goldberg’s Yoga Techniques: How to Bow Down (Pranam)
In our yoga practice, we are often making the movement of bowing our head down in surrender. In today’s technique, we will explore how becoming conscious and aware when bowing down in yoga poses, can bring your practice into deep prayer and meditation.
Kriya Yoga Master, Paramahamsa Hariharananda, said that the yoga practice of Pranam, finds expression not only among Hindus, but also Christians and Muslims, in use of the act of surrender by bowing down, to initiate a prayerful attitude:
“The act of bowing brings real success and joy. It shows an understanding of the reality of life. In Sanskrit, there are a few words used for bowing down. Let us understand their meaning. In Sanskrit, bowing is known as pranama, namaskara, or namah. Pranama means to bend and to be humble. Without humility, one cannot grow spiritually. Namaskara is an action of bending down with folded hands. Namah or nama means “I bow to you.” It is the short form of na mama which means “nothing is mine.” When we live in this world we develop ego. Ego develops in many forms --- ego about one’s body, beauty, intellect, worldly possessions, achievement, success, and so on…. However, a truly spiritual person remembers that everything is a gift of God, and that nothing belongs to him or her. Even the body, mind, and intellect, which are so close, so near and dear to me and could belong to me, are also not mine. So it is namama or namami --- it is complete surrender, nothing is mine.”
Cultivating this sense of humility and surrender in our yoga practice, and outward into our daily life, will help us to overcome the daily troubles and problems which inevitably arise from ego attachment. This is how to deepen and to grow spiritually into our yoga practice.
“A tree loaded with fruits is always bending down. Wise people, with knowledge and intelligence, are always humble.” From Paramahamsa Hariharananda, Mysticism of Religious Symbols, p. 230.
Quotation of the month:
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