Place: Minnesota; Date: 1993 My sister introduced me to yoga as a form of therapy after sustaining an injury. It was the end of the 80's era (thank goodness) and step aerobics and spinning were still the mainstream fitness craze. Over the years, my yoga and meditation practice has evolved and thankfully so have the options for yoga clothes! My practice is a firm foundation in awareness, understanding, and growth . . . physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.
There are several paths of yoga. My training follows the Raja or As(h)tanga tradition. Raja, royal or kingly, yoga refers to the classical yoga system and adherence to Patanjali's "eight limbs" of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. These are: ethical practices (yamas and niyamas), posture (asanas), breathing practice (pranayama), withdrawing the mind within/sensory withdrawal (pratyahara), concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) to transcend the physical body and achieve union with the Divine self (samadhi). Raja often includes another commonly referenced path of yoga, Hatha, which generally focuses on the physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation.
Great way to spend your 45th birthday!
Pause. Breathe. Listen. The answer is inside.
Ever feel you are searching for something, outside of yourself? Whatever it is, chances are you already know it, possess it,
and contain it inside of you. The challenge is to clear the cobwebs, settle the fog, and come see for yourself . . . The Yoga In You
The Yoga in You
It is very common in our culture to take the first step on a yoga mat for simply exercise. Or as in my case, a form of physical therapy . . . realizing the body is requesting your attention from an injury. And then there are the curious ones wondering what yoga is all about. There really isn't one specific answer to why anyone practices yoga, but more importantly . . . why not?
Yoga reminds me of all the aspects in life which are often overlooked: abundant joy, heart-felt compassion, sincere forgiveness, and
unconditional acceptance. Quite a positive and powerful reminder . . . wouldn't you say?
There is so much potential for transformation within us we have yet to fully understand. We know who we are deep down inside. During years of cultural habitual conditioning we can lose our sense of who we are and the ability to nurture happiness. Simply stated: Yoga and meditation help us connect and know ourselves on a deeper level, encouraging us to let go of the suffering and our mind's conditioned responses and expectations finding space for freedom and love.
Look no further . . . It's in you.
For the introduction to yoga and for the lifestyle inspiration, I am and forever will be indebted to my sister. Each day I am blessed and honored to live out her intention loud and proud.
One yoga lesson which stands out for me is understanding how life doesn't wait until you're ready. At times we hesitate, unsure if our next step is going to land on solid ground or if it will land at all. Other times, we jump right in with both feet never knowing what we're jumping into. I've experienced many of those times myself.
We usually sense when our lives are out of balance and find ourselves "oversteering". We sway back and forth, from one extreme to another teetering on either edge. Filling our lives with more middle ground, through practicing yoga and meditation, is where we find our balance.
Yoga and meditation helps us recognize and acknowledge the various balancing acts we encounter throughout each day. It can come in those small, seemingly insignificant moments of our daily lives and also in those life-changing events that mark our path. If we tune in more often and listen closely, we may just hear what message is trying to make it's way through.
Thanks for visiting. I hope to practice with you soon.
Celebrating 25years of Yoga
300 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher
Yoga Alliance Member E-RYT 200
Website photography lovingly created by my daughter who was only seven years old at the time she captured these images.
Yoga practice since 1993; Teaching in the Northern Virginia area since 2006: Chantilly, Centreville, Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Herndon, Oak Hill, Reston, South Riding and Vienna. References available upon request. Teaching schedule outside the private studio in the Northern Virginia community currently includes International Country Club of Fairfax (Monday 7:00 - 8:00 pm).
Deepest appreciation to my many wise and compassionate teachers. You inspire me to step on my mat everyday and continue to share the knowledge and love of yoga to others. Namaste to all ~
(current alpha listing)
Beryl Bender Birch
Deva Premal and Miten
Elise Browning Miller
Wade Imre Morissette