April 1st-yoga challange: class 1-3

Happy April to all you lovely peoples and yogi’s out there.  I thought I would add a little structure to this year’s blog.  I  would like to base this structure on the eight limbs of yoga.  These are the foundations and things to build upon in life and in the path of yoga.  As much as there is the desire to attain the ability to do a certain pose, there is also the desire to attain a certain mindset.  This mindset is one of peace, love, and balance in day to day life.  This is one of the reasons I love yoga so much.  You can work out all the stresses in life through your body.  This is great, because often times we store our stresses in our bodies anyway.

The eight limbs are as follows:  Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.  I will focus on each limb for four days of the next month.  This equals just over one month.  I dedicate my practice to the focus of the eight limbs of yoga.  This will help me ensure that I go to a class every day.

So..  I will start with the Yamas.  This constitutes the Five Moral Restraints of nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, moderation, and nonhoarding.  It is day three of the challenge.  So far the classes have been amazing at Yoga Union.  The teachers are fantastic and the community feeling is very alive and well.  It is exciting to see so many people doing the challenge.  It is also inspiring.  With regard to the Yama’s and the five moral restraints, I would like to go to a story told by Swami Vivekaananda.

Imagine that each one of us lives at the center of a spider’s web of his or her own making.  The threads of the web are our thoughts, words, deeds; all together, these strands for our karma.  Yoga is the conscious manipulation of karma.  It is the study of how to avoid injurious karma and how to accrue positive karma.  The ultimate aim of yoga is to transcend this web of karma, so that we can reunite with our true selves.

“Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom… our thoughts, our words, and deeds are threads of the net we throw around ourselves.”  Swami Vivekananda.

To me this sums up the idea of the Yamas.  In the meantime my shoulders are still tight and my hip flexors keep me from really sinking into some poses, but in my times of struggle and shake during yoga practice I will envision my negative karma releasing and blowing into the wind and into nothing.  Clearing is a good way to start any journey!  Salute!



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