I appreciate and enjoy asana practice as the physical aspect of the yoga tradition, which I have gradually turned into my lifestyle. Learning occurs through repetition and I try to practice at the studio two to three times a week—the same number of times I approach the mat at home. Asana practice reminds me to breathe, move mindfully, and ultimately turn my attention inward to explore and connect with my inner Self. That’s how I see my practice in general—as self-development. And asana practice is just one tool.
After a wonderful retreat this summer in Santa Fe studying The Yoga Sutras and Sanskrit with Nicolai Bachman, the aspect of Kriya Yoga came to the forefront of my practice as a new tool to refine my knowledge and deepen my practice.
There I deepened my experience of:
Tapas – setting an intention to commit to positive changes
Svadhyaya – discovering who I really am
Ishvara Pranidhana – letting go of attachments to thoughts, words, and actions
The metaphysical aspect of life in general—and yoga in particular—has always interested me. I take Kriya Yoga (practice in action) with me in my everyday life. Off the mat it helps me to see each and every person as they are (Purusha), embrace differences, practice tolerance and patience, and enjoy the eclectic ways in which life presents itself.
There are four steps in following a teaching:
1) mechanical learning
2) learning the meaning
3) gaining experience with practice
4) teaching what has been learned
So it continues—learning, practicing, meditating, reflecting… maybe teaching someday.