Community Practice & Sustenance
I don’t feel like practicing everyday. Some days my body is tired or my heart is sad and I want to sip coffee on the bench in my backyard and watch the birds at the fountain. Peaceful, restful, quiet. Some days my body is full of energy, my spirit joyous and I want to run in the preserve near my home, a chill in the air and bright sun shimmering in the reservoirs. Peaceful, restful, quiet. Some days my body and heart crave asana and the flowing grace of vinyasa or the structure of aligned movements both closing with a deep sense of connection in savasana. Peaceful, restful, quiet.
Yoga is often narrowly defined as only asana but I experience yoga in all my incarnations; when I sit and sip, run and sweat, lengthen & strengthen. My body, mind, and spirit are connected, I’m attentive to my breath and alive in the present moment. Creating a union. I’m honoring my practice by honoring myself so that yoga can truly support me each moment of each day. A practice of sustenance. To take a modified phrase from Barbara Papini, Berkeley Yoga teacher; “...you can practice yoga in spite of yourself, or you can practice in support of yourself.”* I choose to practice yoga in support of myself. To build a practice that changes as I do, to be kind and loving to myself allowing rest when I need it, and creating space in my day for movement when I need it, choices without criticism.
A sustainable yoga practice is not one built on a 10 minute headstand; it's one built on 10 guiding principles; the yamas & niyamas. These principles are tools to help us along our path to live in an open and joyful way, to help us recognize how our attitudes and actions toward ourselves reflect and guide our attitudes and actions towards others. A path of exploration full of very human moments; restful quiet, invigorating action, noise, challenges, anger, sadness, love and laughter. I invite you to build a sustainable practice; a practice that honors all your incarnations, a practice that guides you to live and act in ways that create harmony in yourself and your relationships, a practice that supports not spites you as you journey along the path of life.
* Excerpt taken from blog post by Sandy Baline - http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com/2021/01/my-journey-toward-sustainable-yoga.html