Yoga gives firmness of body, clarity of intelligence, cleanness of heart. That is peace, and by looking at that peace, others will learn. Cultivate that supreme strength of peace, joy and delight. Then others, seeing the joy in you, will say, ‘I want to enjoy too.’ You are a true helper of society when the pupil comes to you, instead of you going to him. Then it is a pure teaching and a pure message.
~B.K.S. Iyengar from The Tree of Yoga
Yoga is not meant to serve as an escape from your life. If anything, it is an invitation to dive deeper; to get really up close and personal with all your flaws, your habits, your beliefs, your issues, your current life circumstances, and ask yourself: is this really working for me? If the answer is no, yoga will give you the courage to get really honest with yourself and change what isn’t working. It probably won’t be easy, it definitely won’t be pretty, but will it be worth it? Hell. Yes.
There is no greater or more miraculous mode of transformation that the one that comes from deep within the very core of your being. This small voice may start as a quiet, nagging whisper, but over time, and with consistent, dedicated practice, it will manifest itself into a deafening roar so loud that you have no choice but to listen, to challenge yourself, to change, and eventually find true freedom.
Now hear the wisdom of yoga
Armed with this understanding,
you will shatter your karmic bonds.
On this path no effort is wasted, no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow.
Bhagavad Gita 2.38
The Principle in Practice
- Take time to connect with your breath before you begin a movement and then as you practice the asana go slowly enough so that you don’t lose the connection
- Whenever you notice yourself holding your breath, exhale completely, blowing the air out through your mouth until the last whisper of air leaves your lungs. Wait for the inhalation to begin spontaneously, and then begin the yoga asana again with the support of your breath
- Slow Down! Roughness, unevenness, or shortness of breath are signs that you are forcing your body to open too quickly or are moving in a way that is creating disharmony
From Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna Farhi