Through Yoga Journal, you can sign up for Daily Insight emails. The piece below is from the Daily Insight sent out on Apr.2, and I used it as the inspiration for one of my classes this week. In many ways, it captures why I practice and teach yoga.
Our asana practice can have a positive impact on our lives because it constantly asks us to become more sensitive, more conscious, and more aware of our bodies, minds, feelings, and emotions. As our sensitivity increases, life becomes more rich and enjoyable because we can taste the unique flavor of each individual moment. More important, we also become more aware of what moves us toward our dharma, or life path, and what takes us away from it. This awareness makes us clearer and more peaceful, more able to elegantly handle life’s endless dilemmas without feeling overwhelmed or fearful. As a result, we become more effective in all of our actions, and our presence begins to inspire and bring out the best in people around us.
The awareness that we develop on the yoga mat, though seemingly small, affects all that is. As we become more aware in our yoga practice and in our lives, as we move away from force and violence and toward sensitivity, feeling, and awareness, we change our individual consciousness and actions. In turn, these changes influence the consciousness and the actions of everyone we meet. Slowly, we shift the direction the world is taking. As we practice each asana, whether it be a challenging twist such as Ardha Matsyendrasana II (Half Lord of the Fishes II Pose) or a simple standing pose such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), we have the opportunity to become the embodiment of peace and to make our practice a prayer for harmony in the world.