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Archive for January, 2014

“Mudra is a sealing in of energy, a drawing of a boundary, a closing off, a shutting out, an isolation. And here’s the contradiction: you seal in your energy, shut out the world in order to let yourself participate in a much larger world. Confining your energy within your body enables you to harness the stupendous energy of the cosmos. You then have more energy to give all around. At first you seem more selfish, but in reality you are more generous.

Similarly creating mudras, boundaries in your relationships, withdrawing your energy internally, defining yourself clearly, claiming your independence frees your energy, renders you more dependable, and helps you be a better partner, friend, teacher, mother, or daughter.” David Garrigues

The power of mudras. The power of practice. In the past few months I have developed really strong unusually wide feet. One of my favorite pairs of Frye boots are a squeeze for me now. It is a powerful energy that now exists in the extremities of my hands and feet.

feet

I mentioned this to a student who thought I was complaining about my feet. No. I practice and understand foundation and this shifted my energy. The power of mudra is containing your energy. The energy equalizes through the body. Prana has to move through your body when you are practicing yoga. It is the same discussion I have over and over with my husband about why a handstand press is not gymnastics. It is gymnastics without breath and it is yoga with the quality of prana.

And it doesn’t matter what kind of yoga. Whether you are working through a practice of a more static style with a lot of breath incorporated or full blown vinyasa, as long as there is breath there is energy and the potential to experience and create the energy that exists or can be created that works within your nature.

Using your energy in a right manner is crucial. I would rather blog or talk about PRACTICE and not waste my time talking about yoga that has nothing to do with my practice. I did that and to be honest find it is boring. I am also wary about teachers who do not practice or ever talk about practice, just, anything else that focuses away from practice. Get it? My favorite teachers and bloggers, Grimm, talk about it all the time. Practice, or talk about your next practice. I can never wait until my next practice.

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“Alignment is not an end in and of itself. The purpose of good alignment is to facilitate a deeper inner experience. If you focus on alignment as the end goal then it diffuses the true power of yoga. The method of yoga is essentially also very simple. In Utkatasana the knees are bent and the hands are up. The depth with which Western teachers, including myself, describe the inner experience of energy and alignment is something that Guruji and Sharath have always left up to the individual to directly experience for themselves. This way each student has the framework for direct perception of the inner body and ultimately their true self and there is more room for variety, experimentation and modification. Sharath is the first person to say that he does not have a beautiful practice according to Western standards. Yet at the same time if you ask him if alignment is important he says yes, for sure, to prevent injury and help the energy flow in the body. I think the key is to find a balance between emphasizing the physical over subtle and disregarding the physical for the spiritual.” Kino MacGregor

It is what it is. This past year has been my year of finding practice. The practice of lineage and eight limbs and for that I am truly grateful. I have gotten blog feedback that has caused me to pause my blog and just focus on practice.

I am not trying to convince anyone of anything or of how they should practice, I can only work from where I am myself. And I have been all over the place and my experience has convinced me that this is what I should be doing and of how I should be teaching, no matter what anyone else says. But I am not going to waste words or walk around the issue of what practice is, as opposed to showing up for a bunch of classes. Yoga is a full scale practice and anyone who has stuck with it for a long time will tell you the same thing.

One thing I have learned is that what I have read has been born out through practice. The practice is internal and has to be focused. Raja yoga is yoga of the mind. There are steps you have to take and you have to practice all of them.

It is almost like a twelve step program. Most people who go through a twelve step program find resistance to one or two of them that they know they won’t do. And if they don’t, they will fail the program. This has been proven time and time again.

You have to look at the teachers that have been around a while and listen to them and listen to them again. Then do all they say, and practice. Yoga is experiential. You can’t fake experience. Saying you practice and actually PRACTICING are two different things. There are some really good bloggers that blog about their practice and then there are a lot of blogs about yoga that really have nothing to do with yoga. I read a good interview yesterday where a master teacher called it, having a conversation about yoga. Many times I blogged about practice that was pretty much about something in my head, not in my practice. It is all about karma, which is taking the mundane, and turning it into something sacred.

Lately I have found this profound strength that is manifesting from deep within. It is the bandhas, not just core, quads, and glutes. I don’t even know how to explain it. Bala. My feet are like hands now. Sort of, but I am not blogging with them.

SO there will be much more blogging this year. It will be about practice, svadhyaya, and workshops. I have my first workshop booked with David Swenson in April. I am looking to keep learning. My other plan is to work with the local Iyengar teachers and learn from them. They know their stuff. I might go out to California for Maty Ezraty intensive later this year too, or something else similar.

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