After a recent weekend with a group of bright and thoughtful teachers-in-training, I’m once again blown away by something I've known for 25 years and yet, astonishingly, feels revelatory and thrilling each time I remember it. I mean REALLY remember it, as in sit with it, and consider its implications:
Asana as sadhana, the path of the body as an instrument of yoga. Postural practice as a means to explore our inner being and become situated in our souls.
Asana as not only a physical endeavor, but as a practice that integrates all the eight limbs and addresses the whole of us: yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. They can all be right there in our poses:
We practice contentment, non-harming, clarity, non-attachment, indeed any and all the benevolent virtues we wish to bring to bear in facing these times of challenge.
We expand Prana,
We take the senses into the body,
We hold our attention inside, using energy, sensation, inquiry, shift, and possibility in asana as the object of our contemplation and focus.
Oh, I know, it's all too easy to slip into a pose as just something our body does. Of course, for many people, it stops there. I get it. Giving yourself fully, body, breath, mind, and soul, to asana isn’t always what we want.
Yet, in times like these, how heartening to remember the richness and possibility of asana as a complete path in its own right. Every time we come to our mats, that option is there for us. It’s a pretty awesome invitation, don't you think?
How can you say yes to this today? This week? How does it feel to approach asana as a practice for the whole of YOU?
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