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The Journey Back to Myself

August 21, 2019

 

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”  Bhagavad Gita

 

I stepped on my mat four years ago as a form of therapy, as a means to heal my pain and a way to cope with the shifting landscape of my life. Asana (the yoga postures) became the vehicle to physical transformation, but along the way, I realized yoga was much more than the poses I was practicing.  It was a path that would lead me on a journey within.

 

In the first year of my practice and as I became more adept at the poses, I realized my ego was the driver on this yoga-trip. My self-esteem would take a hit when others could nail their arm balances or inversions while I was still struggling. I began to enjoy being on the mat less and less. Instead, I started exploring the teachings of yoga (in the beginning as an excuse to justify my inability to grow in my crow or hold steady in my headstand). I bought the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most revered discourses on yoga and soon realized, asana was just a very small aspect of this practice. Still, it was my ego driving this exploration because I needed to feel better about being unable to nail poses.

 

I immersed myself in self-study, and for this I do have to thank the ego, because next I turned to the Yoga Sutras, a series of aphorisms on the subject of yoga.  This is when I reached a turning point in my practice. The Sutras described the "Eight Limbs" or the path of yoga and I began piecing together missing pieces of the puzzle.

 

The Sutras assert we practice each limb to reach the end-state of Samadhi or the state of pure bliss. Each limb is incomplete on its own but when practiced together, we reach the destination. The ego is a wall that stands between the practitioner and the practice--asana is just one of the tenets that helps ready the body for the journey. As I began practicing the limbs with integrity, my own practice shifted. As I let go of ego and practiced with genuine joy in movement, the more difficult asanas came. It was when I connected these dots that I decided to pursue my yoga teacher certification and share the true essence of yoga with others.

 

My teaching style continues evolving and I’d describe it best as meditative movement. As we focus on moving the body, our mind becomes still, solely focused on the breath which anchors our movement. Our attention is drawn to the connection formed between our body, breath and our spirit as we move in, hold and release from pose to pose. The benefit of such a practice not only leads to a strong, agile body but more importantly, peace of mind where the ego has now been replaced by a more pure consciousness.

 

Yoga is a gift. This practice has transformed every area of my life and has brought me tremendous joy, good-health, peace and purpose.  I look forward to sharing this practice with you.  Namaste.

 

Veena Kashyap

 

 

 

Join Veena's Upcoming Classes/Workshops:

(Click the date links to sign up)

 

August 25 - Sunday: 9:30AM - 11:30AM - PowerYin Yoga

($25 PER PERSON - PRE-PAID) A 2-hour fusion class integrating both power and yin styles of yoga. By bringing together these two complementary practices, the student will work on strengthening the muscles (power) while deepening and restoring the connective tissue (yin.) A deeply gratifying practice for the body, mind and spirit.

September 14 - Saturday: 9:30AM - 11:30AM - PowerYin Yoga

($25 PER PERSON - PRE-PAID) A 2-hour fusion class integrating both power and yin styles of yoga. By bringing together these two complementary practices, the student will work on strengthening the muscles (power) while deepening and restoring the connective tissue (yin.) A deeply gratifying practice for the body, mind and spirit.

September 22 - Sunday: 9:30AM - 12:00PM - WORKSHOP 

WHAT IS YOGA? THE ANCIENT PRACTICE OF YOGA FOR THE MODERN-DAY YOGI ($50 PER PERSON - PRE-PAID) Yoga is far more than the postures we've come to know, love and practice. This 2.5 hour workshop will dive into the philosophy of yoga including a brief overview of the history and timeline, the key texts, a detailed discussion on the Eight Limbs of Yoga and how the ancient practice of yoga can be translated into a modern day practice for today's yogi. Yoga IS NOT A RELIGION. Yoga is a way of life we can all embrace to find the connection between our mind, body and spirit. This is a great workshop for any student interested in deepening their knowledge about yoga or for those students contemplating yoga teacher training to get a feel for the subjects studied during the certification process. Students will receive copies of the materials reviewed as part of the workshop.

 

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