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The fruits of dedication

"Equanimity is not just a decision that we can will into being: “Let me be equanimous, right now, in the face of this difficulty.” It’s based on a deep understanding of the impermanent, unstable, changing, unreliable, and conditional nature of reality." says meditation teacher and writer Sylvia Boorstein.

Here are some ways we learn about these concepts in practice:

  • Vinyasa: link of breath with movement. With a focus on the transition element - transitioning in and out of places, at first with effort, eventually effortlessly.

  • Asanas: taking the seat of dates, animals, nature and other shapes. With a focus on the changing form aspect and embodying another being aspect of Asana.

  • 5 breaths: within the lineage of Ashtanga and Ashtanga Vinyasa we are only in stillness for 5 breaths. In that stillness we may experience discomfort or comfort, but we learn to not attach to what either brings to surface. With a focus on not being pulled by opposites, or attachment.

  • Desire and aversion: Observing our natural tendency towards comfort, and away from aversion but having to move through it equally. With a focus on remaining unaffected by likes or dislikes, desire and aversion, good and bad...

  • Observing ourselves: every day our bodies and minds change according to - what we think, what we eat, how we sleep, our interactions...We observe this and learn to remain unattached to the change, but rather make the necessary life changes around what we observe on the mat.

  • Our expectations around practice: as we move through life our bodies change, our duties and priorities shift. Our role as practitioners is to observe the attachment towards keeping things as they were, and learn to be present with what is, of service to what needs attention now. (ex: Seasons of life, Major changes: pregnancy, postpartum, surgery, sickness, injury…)

These are some of the ways in which yoga teaches us about impermanence, non attachment.

On a deeper level it gives us a platform to anchor ourselves inside in order to navigate the impermanent, unstable, changing, unreliable, and conditional nature of reality.

In the Bhagavad Gita (6.29) Krishna says to Arjuna: "Harmonizing the mind by the practice of yoga, one sees unity all around, seeing the Self in all beings, and all beings in the Self."

Some ways we experience this after a focused practice:

  • Communion within

  • Ease in breath and sitting

  • Inward movement of sense organs: less outward pull

  • Sweetness: sattva

  • Inner safe space

  • Deep inner Rooting

As my teacher SharathJi always says "Attending to the practice for a long time with full dedication and devotion. Then it moves inside and you can access it with the most minimal action." so keep practicing friends!

Join me for practice regularly at Newburgh Yoga Shala or on Retreat around the world.


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