Over ten years ago, when I started an asana practice, I hadn't really set any intentions or planned to make any major changes in my life. In talking with fellow yogis and students, I’ve learned that many, if not most of us “happened” into an asana or yoga practice.
It took about two months of going to a vinyassa class 4-5 times a week to realize that yoga had changed, and was changing my life in many unexpected and unintended ways. The realization of those changes marks the point when I began to approach my practice with intention, gratitude and a desire to share my experience.
Today, after more than ten years of an ever deepening asana and yoga practice, I look back and reflect on the elements of yoga that mean the most to me. I value asana and yoga because the practice has lead me to redefine and find greater meaning in Foundation, Support and Relationship as they relate to my life.
In thinking about my personal asana practice, I’m reminded to ground down through my feet and organically draw up energy from my connection to the earth. I can build posture from the ground up as an integral part of my physical environment. I practice to make a habit of being present and grounded wherever I am in each and every moment. In setting up or flowing through asana postures, I feel into that base and allow the energy and firmness of the Foundation to spread into higher levels of body and awareness. I find Support in all the muscles surrounding the core and solar plexus and up into my trunk and heart space.
When the Foundation and Support of a posture build physically from the ground up and move into heart space, the practice becomes much more than physical – I become aware and present in a way that changes my approach to Relationships: to my energetic environment, to society, and perhaps most significantly, I feel intentional shifts in my approach to Relationships with others, to my spirit, and ultimately my Relationship to Source.
Tomorrow I will enjoy the most gratifying celebration of the culmination of my Yoga intentions and how I relate them to my work with Yoga Gives Back. Tomorrow I will join more than 75 other teachers in 11 countries across the globe in teaching a donation asana class and hosting a fundraising event in support of YogaGivesBack.org – “Thank You Mother India – One Day of Global Support”.
I’m so honored and grateful to be a team member and supporter of YogaGivesBack.org (YGB) because underlying its mission lay the same values and intentions that I have come to set for my practice over the years.
The Yoga Gives Back Mission is “to mobilize the global yoga community to empower women in India to build sustainable livelihoods.” Working with YGB has put me in direct Relationship with like-minded individuals forming cross cultural friendships and partnerships in the manifestation of the YGB mission. Being able to fund, support and assist in positive life changes of others has had profound spiritual and personal effects on me as I honor my yoga intentions and allow myself to be a more present, contributing part of the connected-wholeness of our human experience. My relationship to self and to Source has evolved and strengthened as a result of my work with YGB.
I hope you can join us all tomorrow at a "Thank you Mother India – One Day of Global Fundraising" event near you… Visit TYMI EVENTS to find a fundraiser near you. Dedicated teachers and yogis supporting Yoga Gives Back can be found here.