The benefits of Yoga. Calm. Steady. Strong.
|May the connection to the earth be steady and joyful.|
This sutra has been with me from my first days of Jivamukti Yoga training. We connected I should say. Being so simple it yet holds a very deep meaning that could be explored in a variety of contexts. Asana translated from sanskrit means “the seat or connection”. If you are familiar with yoga, You might have probably noticed that almost all yoga poses finish with “asana” (Adho mukha svanasana, Virhabadrasana, Sukhasana, Vriksasana etc.) which dictates that with each yogic pose we are strengthening our connection to the earth. This sutra shows, that by physically practising yoga with repetition and determination our inner connection to all things visible and invisible becomes stronger. To share my personal experience on that, I could say that during my Jivamukti yoga training, this has deeply touched my being – the training has been very challenging physically, we have been on our mats each day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the first two weeks have been so painful for the body, I could hardly feel what my body is doing and where my mind is taking me. However, after 2 weeks all of the sudden I felt a flip – my mind became so calm and everything so clear. I do not want to get spiritual here, because actually, it’s not that – I must say that my physical practice actually influenced me in becoming a more grounded person. I take decisions more easily, find solutions faster and can actually sense myself and the world around me in much clearer manner. Ah, just call me – it’s so difficult to put it on paper 🙈.
|Because it’s fun. Because it’s challenging. Because it’s calming. It makes you glow. It gives you pleasant (sometimes not so much) muscle pains. It increases your flexibility. It adds minimum 5 years of extra happiness. It improves your respiration. It energizes your body. And above all – it allows you to have time for yourself and the body you live in. I believe that yoga can be practiced by anyone, of any age and any beliefs. All you have to bring is an open mind and sometimes a yoga mat. Remember, there are so many types of yoga, that there is definitely one waiting for you to be experienced.|
|Jivamukti Yoga is a method of yoga that was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. It reintegrates the physical, philosophical and spiritual aspects of Yoga. The emphasis in the west has been on Yoga as mostly a physical practice. More and more people are achieving firmer bodies through regular yoga classes. But many are finding something more: what starts out as a purely physical practice creeps into the hearts and minds of even the least spiritual practitioners. David and Sharon became teachers because they were passionate about communicating Yoga as more than just a system of exercises, but also as a spiritual practice; a path to enlightenment. From their earliest classes, they have taught a living translation of the Indian system of yoga in a way that western minds can comprehend. That is why Jivamukti Yoga emphasizes vigorous asana as its primary technique, but other practices such as meditation, devotional chanting and study of the ancient texts play an important role as well.|
The Jivamukti method of Yoga is one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga. The other eight being: Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, Sivananda, Integral, Bikram, Kripalu, and Kundalini.
|I have surely not yet achieved samadhi (the highest bliss) and comfort whilst doing yoga is very important for a good personal practice. I have my favourite mat, which has travelled with me from East to West and back. And I am very attached to it, meaning it affects my practice when I practice on different mats. The reasons of course are very different: the grip, thickness, material changes, but also having your own mat creates a sensation of “your space” which has seen it all – your falls from headstands, your heavy breath, your good and your bad moments. I know, that we should be less attached to things, yet some things are simply essential, and to me it is my yoga mat. My choice has been YOGAMATTERS – eco rise yoga mat. And believe it or not, by purchasing it, I have found out that light mats do not get as dirty as dark mats. I have also tried the eco jute mats, and I did enjoy the grip, yet what becomes a little annoying with time, that little pieces start coming out of the mat after using it for a while (it is one of the most sustainable options though). I also have a big affection towards the closed loop HEJHEJ mats. However, if You feel like today is the day to choose a yoga mat and you are still in doubt – e-mail us, we will give you all the possible help.|
|They call it “The Question of the Century”. And is it? For a lot of us, this question sounds of very high spiritual source that can only be reached by the “chosen” and only in very fragile conditions. Yet, then I tend to ask – how is that different from concentration? When we dedicate our attention to only one thing, one thought, one action, one purpose. And yes, it is difficult, when we all live in this world of such low attention spam, surrounded by so many images, technologies and noise. Yet it is possible to achieve. Start small. Take away five minutes from your day. Sit down comfortably, light a candle or anything of calming sound/smell, close your eyes and first – hear your breath. Start here, count your breaths. Then gently start silently repeating, with an inhale – LET, with and exhale – GO. When You find your thoughts wondering, come back to the breath. It will be like your anchor. You will see how day by day, the 5 minutes will become shorter and shorter. And then one day you will be able to dedicate 10, 15 or even maybe 30 minutes – to pursue concentration of mind. Be patient. Take each practice with grace and never judge yourself if all you can think about is your breakfast. It will come. P.S. Press on the link to find a song which helped me start.|