“ ... love is the bridge between you and everything ....” rumi
How to make this practice real?
At the heart of our practice is the understanding that everything is connected to everything else. Beginning with our minds and continuing with our bodies, our spirits and expanding through all forms of life, all actions on earth, we are intimately connected.
As Michael Stone says, “because of the sweeping changes of the modern era – including genetic research, the telephone, the Internet, high rates of literacy, swift air travel, two-column accounting systems, and faster and faster life styles – the Iron Age worldview out of which yoga teachings began to be described and refined can only offer us a partial platform, path and set of truths. We begin in this culture at this time, so we must begin now to articulate and reenvision a yoga that is responsive to present circumstances – rooted in tradition yet adaptable and alive in contemporary times.”
To Stone’s acknowledgement of now, I would add that we need to include the travesty of climate change, the oppressive weight of racism in all forms, gender and transgender bias, the shallow and soul killing spread of consumer culture, the ever widening gulf between the “haves” and “have nots” and ecocide.
Stone goes on to say: “For too long, yoga has been mischaracterized as an inner practice without understanding the teleology of the practice. Yoga practices tune us in to reality by waking us up to the inherent transience of earthly life, the freedom that arises when wanting is relinquished, the truth that no thing is “me” or “mine,” and the basic intelligence of the mind, body, and the life that supports us. The term “yoga” connotes the basic unity & interconnectedness of all of life including the elements, the breath, the body, and the mind. The techniques of yoga – including body practices, working with the breath, and discovering the natural ease of the mind – reorient the practitioners to the very deep continuity that runs through every aspect of life until they realize that mind, body, and breath are situated in the world and not apart from worldly life in any way.”
What does it mean to have our practice intertwine with personal, social, and ecological responsibility? Where does the practice of yoga fit into a world on fire? Can we take our practice to the next level – where the fruits of the practice nourish and replenish not only ourselves but our loved ones, our community, our earth?
I think we can. I think that is what yoga is all about. I hope you’ll join me in this exploration and call to practice, not just on our mats but in all the moments of each day, with each breath we take.
This curriculum has been inspired by Michael Stone’s Yoga for a World out of Balance. I offer it knowing that we have the ability, opportunity and moral obligation to bring ourselves and our world back into balance.
9/11, 14 & 15 The Path Unfolds
9/18, 21, 22 Restraint in Times of Unrestraint
9/25, 28, 29 Lack
10/2, 5, 6 Karma : Causality
10/9, 12, 13 Ahimsa : Nonviolence
10/16, 19, 20 Satya : Honesty
10/23, 26, 27 Asteya : Nonstealing
10/30, 11/2, 3 Brahmacarya : Wise Use of Sexual Energy
11/6, 9, 10 Aparigraha : Nonacquisitiveness
11/13, 16, 17 Nothing is Hidden
11/20 Jewels Shower Down
11/27, 30, 12/1 Samadhi
Come or don’t come : no need to RSVP : there is always room for you, always space held with love. It is an honor & a privilege to explore this path together.
Always with so much love, Sierra