The traditional practice of yoga looks quite different than what most of us are used to seeing or experiencing in a yoga studio today in the West. Originally, the emphasis was not toward simply developing a strong or healthy body, and in fact was less about the physical body altogether. It was not directly about practicing yoga to improve our lives, but instead was a method in which we could see past our confusion and struggle to realize the source of peace and wholeness within. It translated into an ability to be fully embodied in this human form while understanding that our true nature extends beyond it. It is said that the soul or Self has two imperatives: to be and to become. Yoga is about coming into the truth of who we are and stepping into the greatest expression possible through activating our inherent potential. Yoga is to know oneself, and to become most effective at living a fulfilled life in alignment with one’s individual purpose.
Many claim that the ultimate aim of yoga is expressed in, likely, the most quoted Yoga Sutra: “Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha,” which translates as “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” Here, it’s not about a fit body, but instead the clearing of the mind’s disturbance that obscures the light of our true essence. It is only in holding this highest aim of yoga that we can come to know the true meaning, power, and reach of yoga. In my classes, I attempt to create a platform for this process with a strong orientation to yoga’s original technique and intent, while honoring the context of our modern environment and application.
The video of still shots captured from my Candlelight Flow class at Samadhi Center for Yoga was shot, compiled and edited by Tom Martin. The music is “Om My Shiva” by Alanna Kaivalya, accompanied by me on didgeridoo.
When I teach private yoga sessions, the context can range from a more alignment-based emphasis, to one of self-inquiry. The choice is up to the student, but it’s guaranteed that the thread of intent woven through the session will orient itself to transformation and personal empowerment. The approach taken to a private session will address one’s current life situation and implement an array of techniques ranging from asana (postures), to pranayama (breathwork), to meditation that will support a direction of balance and harmony. Private meditation sessions are also available.