I love this painting by my friend, James Anaya Fishman. To me, it expresses the complexity of our human experience and our capacity to embrace the whole spectrum of it.
Integrating all the pieces and parts of myself - the messy and the beautiful, the strong and the vulnerable, the mundane and the sacred - is such a valuable part of what my yoga practice is about.
Yoga gives me tools to address the fullness of who I am, to penetrate the depths of my inner being and to process the outer story of my life. It offers me a place to settle, to process, and to heal.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that every part of myself benefits when held up to the light of yogic wisdom and practice.
The core teaching of all traditions and paths of yoga is that within each human being lives an unchanging essence, a place of abiding presence that is our truest home because the fullness of who we are is welcome there.
Like a welcoming home, when we experience this place within, we know with deep conviction that we are okay just as we are, we are safe, we are whole. Through yoga, we uncover this place, we come into relationship with it. Over time, we get to know it as our own ever-present Self.
Yoga offers us tools to bring all parts of ourselves into harmony with this Self, the underlying ground of our own being. Layer by layer, piece by piece, the practices help us bring the whole of our being into alignment with it. This integrated sense of wholeness is where healing happens. It belongs to all of us.
The five koshas, while by no means the only model of the human being in the yoga tradition, offer a useful framework for understanding, attending to and including all the different parts of ourselves in our practice.
Seeing ourselves through the lens of the koshas, we learn how to to harness the different energies of our being for greater self-knowledge. They help us make sense of how to bring all the pieces of ourselves together on our journey toward wholeness and healing.
This is what we’ll be exploring in the Journey Through the Koshas workshop this Saturday. Through asana, pranayama, inquiry, meditation, and study, you’ll learn practices that address each part of your being, now and in the days and months to come. It’s happening live online, but if you register, you’ll also get the link to the recording. I’d love to share this with you.
Our free, online bonus content is designed to complement and enrich your experience of Evolving Your Yoga. Resources like video pose tutorials, downloadable journaling prompts, breathwork, guided visualizations, and more will support your exploration of each of the Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice.