Yoga & Dance Entwined

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I recently reread a little of what my teacher’s teacher had to say about the dance as yoga and just wanted to share it. In addition to their parallels of devotion, purification, practice, humility, discipline, single mindedness and surrender…

Some thoughts by T. Balasaraswati:

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The yogi by controlling his breath and by modifying his body acquires the halo of sanctity…the dancer, who dissolves her identity in rhythm and music, makes her body an instrument for the experience and expression of the spirit.’

‘The greatest blessing of Bharatanatyam is its ability to control the mind.’

‘The yogi achieves serenity through concentration that comes from discipline. The dancer brings together her feet, hands, eyes, ears and singing into a fusion which transforms the serenity of the yogi into a torrent of beauty. The spectator, who is absorbed in intently watching this, has his mind freed of distractions and feels a great sense of clarity. In their shared involvement, the dancer and the spectator are both released from the weight of worldly life, and experience the divine joy of the art with a sense of total freedom.’

dsc06772-guru-patanjali-z-bThanks to the yogini dancers this weekend who re-inspired the ever present connection…

Yoga in Galway

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I’ve been here assisting Luke for the last two weeks and am staying on an extra week solo. I love it here in Galway! And, there is a fantastic yoga community to share with so I feel extra lucky to be here a little longer. Please come if it suits you to practice with me and this great group of yogis at An Seomra Yoga Center…

 

Remembering The Point of Practice

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Take a look at this Helpful Reminder, recently published on Elephant Journal. I agree, especially with Ashtanga yoga that there is a lot of “identifying” with the practice. And while it is a natural occurrence for most of us; it is to be looked at and eventually, seen through. In the article he says,”In authentic yoga practice, the distinctions between self and other are blurred or altogether dissolved.”

If you’ve never taken a look at Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, do! It’s all about the spiritual search turning into another service of the ego. Another layer, and another, and another…

There Is Always A Way

This is one of the most inspiring Ashtanga videos out there. Forget the svelte and smooth yogis doing perfect asanas in ways we can often only dream of. This is real life and beautiful. Two people who practice, one with a fractured femur, in a room on their mats. There is nothing fancy, and it’s all heart. It’s a kind reminder of what is possible and what to be grateful for as we practice ourselves (or give reasons not to)…

And as our teachers say, “anyone can practice Ashtanga yoga”!

Inspired Yogi

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Richard Freeman is one of the people I find most admirable. He is one of the most inspired and respectable yogis (and people) I know of. I feel fortunate to have been able to study, practice and learn from him. The good news is so much of what he has to share is accessible to anyone who is interested. Here is a recent interview that gives some insight into his experience, perspectives on teaching and tradition. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend taking the time to learn what he has to share…

The Art of Bhakti Yoga

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“The relationship between art and yoga extends from antiquity. Artistic expression was once that most unique, potent arena in which one reached beyond oneself, by diving within oneself. ” I love this. This is just one extract from a beautiful article recently posted on Elephant, “Windows Into Pure Love: The Art of Bhakti Yoga.” It’s an inspiring reminder for any of us moving beyond our base perceptions of possibility. In fact, this article states that the only time the two sides of our brains are in “harmonious dialogue” is when we engage artistically or in yogic meditation-allowing us to expand our conscious awareness and levels of perception.

“Yoga asks that we entertain infinite possibilities, beyond rational thought, and exercise new ways of being… Then it moves us to share these new perspectives with others.” From this place we can share our creativity whether through painting, art, dance, music or whatever- like the bhakti yogis expressing through the “eyes of pure love” as a means to nurture, support and give to one another. Om shanti!