Uniting Tradition & Innovation
Recordings include Lectures, Notes for self study, and Integrated Practices
“Have patience with all that lies unsolved in your Heart
And try to love the questions themselves….. The point of this human experience is, after all, to live….. everything.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
Inquiry Based Yoga Exploration:
Inquiry-based learning in Yoga allows practitioners to align their practice with their personal intention, priorities, and, fundamentally, with their Dharma (Life’s purpose). This approach to practice is ancient and fundamental to personal transformation and healing.
A spiritual practice should support one’s ideals, but the way that Yoga is often transmitted today, one is left with the impression that the practice determines one’s ideals. This confusion has been a source of conflict and perpetual disappointment in some yoga communities. It is time to free ourselves from such confusion and return to the answers that are only found within us.
As this is a profoundly personal way to practice, each practitioner will be building a unique practice. Because this is a group exploration, we will be learning from one another, and each person, in that way, becomes a teacher of their own wisdom.
In this group experience, I am not the ‘teacher’ but rather a guide to supporting your own self discovery. My focus will be more on asking the questions rather than providing the answers….. I trust that you have the answers but may just need some help finding them.
We will used themes explored in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as a framework for the conversations and personal explorations, but we will not be confined to any single commentary or interpretation of these ideas.
Detailed Summary of Content:
What is the Function of YOUR Practice?
Yamas and Niyamas
– We began by reflecting on asking why we practice Yoga – is it to repair ourselves or to set ourselves free (like Michelangelo setting the Angel free from the stone)?
– then, we did a mediation on the river of life – our values and what helps carry us through the river of life.
– We reflected on the language we use to express our inner experiences, and how we can use the power of words as a practice (Mantra)
Asana and Pranayama
– We approached the Body and breath with an intersectional perspective.
– took some time to deeply feel the anatomy of our breath and also notice the power of choosing to consciously change the habitual ratio of our breath cycle
– Understanding that our nervous system is partially hardwired and partially created, we reflected on the contributions of the ancestors, and the power we have to rewrite the programming that no longer serves us.
– we turned towards the idea of resting as a way to short circuit faulty programming.
– the resting gives us the power of the pause to give our discriminant mind time to respond and not be taken for a ride with the animal response.
– Practices to turn the attention ‘inward’
Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi
– Moving towards silence (utilizing the pause in the breath)
– The ‘Me-ness’ in practice
– Listening to the Silence behind the sounds (a meditative technique)
– Building a relationship with the silence
Why does modern Yoga in the West look so different from this idea?
Today’s globalized Yoga industry and traditions have been significantly influenced by the modern incarnation of Yoga that evolved out of the impacts of colonialism on India and its many spiritual traditions. Two of the many impacts of Victorian era ideals imposed upon Yoga were the elevation of written texts and the subservience to a patriarchal authority figure to override the personal wisdom/insights of the individual practitioner. In the context of this history, the emphasis on personal inquiry and somatic experience can seem almost like a revolutionary act….. let’s start a revolution.