Saturday, April 3, 2010

Making beauty through asana…SHRI

I was watching one of John Friend’s Yoga Teacher Training DVD’s today and he was talking about reasons we practice yoga. He said one reason to practice yoga is to co-create with the divine, so we may bring more beauty into the world through our artistic expression. I love this! We all have the power to create beauty though our own freedom! We can choose to co-create with the Universal! Through the practice of Anusara yoga, by aligning with the divine and remembering the Universal, we experience delight.

Through the practice of asana, pranayama and remembering the heart we draw into ourselves (muscular energy). Through this drawing in we find our inner luster, we remember our divine nature, and we remember our beauty. In drawing in we see and experience our intrinsic goodness. We have this moment of AHHA, like an inner sigh, as we recognize that we are an expression of this one divine essence! Through this recognition we can shine out (organic energy). We shine out our glorification of this inner recognition. When we come to this place of inner connection and recognition and shine out from this divine space, we add the most beauty possible to the world.

In this DVD, John used a metaphor that I really liked and used in my classes today (at Flow and Kula). John said it is like we are all an instrument and our instrument is unique to each one of us. No one in the world has the same instrument as us. With our own instrument through alignment, breath, and our heart connection we can play the instrument and make the most beautiful noise. A noise that no one else can make, a noise that is truly ours to contribute to the whole. When we practice with heart and alignment we play our instrument as best we can. We contribute this sound to the whole in our asana class making a beautiful orchestra! Not only do we contribute our unique instrument sound to our asana class, but we contribute our beauty to all the yogis worldwide, contributing to the global orchestra. John said that we can also think of ourselves as a whole orchestra and that each part of our body is its own instrument. Through aligning each part of our body correctly and being very aware of all the different body parts/ musical instruments, we contribute to one orchestra. (What a lovely metaphor)

I have been practicing mainly Vinyasa, and Prana Vinyasa Yoga for many years and have recently found Anusara yoga. When I think about this metaphor, especially the one where I am the whole orchestra and each part of my body is its own instrument that contributes to the beautiful sounds of the whole orchestra (my whole self), gets me thinking about how I used to perform asanas. I thought I was getting pretty good. I looked good in the pose, I could hold it for a long time, but now I realize that not every part of my body was involved in the pose. I had trained myself to come into a pose and collapse and just allow my bone structure to hold me up. I wasn’t playing all my instruments in the most beneficial way. Yes, it was easy because I wasn’t engaged. Now when I do yoga, even if I am in a basic class, every pose I come into, and every part of my body, every instrument is contributing someway to the whole.

This is Shri. Shri means “radiance” in Sanskrit, it can also be translated as beauty or that which is inspiring. Shri is essential beauty, something that lifts and opens your heart. Shri is the recognition of our intrinsic goodness. The effervescent light that shines from within when we align with the divine and we experience a AHHH...sensation in our mind body and spirit.

May we align with the divine in our asana poses and in our life so we may choose to contribute more beauty to the world, and with this wonderful life we have been blessed with.

Happy day to you, may we all reflect and connect to our heart on and off the matt.

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Intention and Testimonials

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