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  • Writer's pictureCindy

My Beliefs About the Practice of Yoga

Our lives on this planet are about connection. We are hardwired to make connections in our brain. Despite the current divide you may see in this country, we very much want to find the things that draw us together. It’s human nature, not left or right, haves or have nots. When we focus on commonalities, we will find people with which we enjoy spending time. If the following beliefs ring true for you, it might be time for us to meet. We might have a great practice together.

I truly believe that yoga is for everyone, but you might have to be patient in finding your personal yoga preferences. Some classes are active, some chill, some hot, some not, some have music, some have meditation, some have less than a minute of relaxation. You may find that you like a mix of different styles and teachers. Great! Keep searching until you find the practice(s) and teachers that speak to your heart, and that make you feel more alive and peaceful at the end.

In my classes, I act as a guide to your personal experience. I often teach with a theme as a way of having you look at your practice in a new light. My themes include everything from heart-opening, to balancing with the equinox, to alleviating heat, or focusing on the feet. I never teach the same class twice, but many of the poses remain the same. I like to give exploratory options on how to hold your body in space with the right amount of effort and ease. I also believe in a minimum five minutes of savasana, or final relaxation. You need at least three minutes of savasana for the full affects of your practice to be realized and the fatigue from practice to be dissipated from your body, but more is always better in our stressed-out world.

I consider yoga the scientific path to enlightenment. By practicing with non-attachment, you can be graced with equanimity, compassion, and joy. Even if you’re not interested in enlightenment (yet), at a minimum yoga is a scientific path to leading a life with a calmer mind and a state of ease. Because of these true gifts that come from dedicated practice, I personally care more about meditation and stillness than practicing with goats or alcohol. Those things can be fun, and a great introduction to yoga. However, you’re not really on the spiritual path of yoga, if you are practicing for amusement of the ego.

Yes, we use our bodies to practice, but yoga isn’t just exercise. Anybody could use the poses as stretches or strength building, but another of yoga’s gifts is to teach us how to pay attention. Mindfully noticing the breath, the sensations in the body, and where the mind veers off track are all ways that these stretchy shapes we make with our bodies begin weaving together and become yoga.

If you’ve been a student of mine for the longest time, it’s because of our connection. I get you. You get me. We stay together because we have common beliefs about how we enjoy the practice of yoga. I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea” (I stopped trying to be a loooong time ago), but I may be your favorite cup. I thank you for your continued support.

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