Why Yoga

I grew up in a fairly religious Christian family. There was always a lot of faith about the goodness of God and the importance of a moral and righteous life. Through all the ups and downs that life offers there was always the comfort of our faith. Until my mid 30’s my spiritual practice consisted of prayer and inconsistent church attendance as a way to sustain my connection to something greater than myself. I wanted more and so devoted my time to a spiritual pursuit.

Prayer, faith, and devotional practice (bhakti) created my early openings into connection with my spiritual side. With this focus of practice, a deep sense of peace, stillness, and unconditional love surrounded me and I felt a direct connection to the Universe. It was surreal to feel so free and safe. My kundalini rising had occurred without me knowing what kundalini was!

In an effort to deepen my practices and understand what I was experiencing in the silence of prayer and meditation I began to explore the different wisdom traditions from Christian sages, Buddhist teachings, and Hindu yogic masters. 

I found in the yogic teachings a clear path that explained scientifically our mind, body, spirit, god connection. There is logic and clarity to the complexities of life. There are practices that takes us on a personal journey of connection with the divine. I found yoga to be the most expansive and it spoke to my scientific mind. Yoga has no particular religion but it explains the path of all religions.

As I began my yogic practices I started to develop certain qualities that were quite beneficial to my well being. In some ways, I became a nicer person. My energy and health improved, I became more centered in myself creating more peace and stillness, not just in me but all around me. These practices transformed me from within and it changed how I live in the world. Many folks practice yoga and meditation to simply make it through the daily challenges of life. Yet, our practice has the power to take us from surviving life to thriving in the Joy of living. 

The physical practice of Yoga, or Asana, is a solid foundation that works great in our very stressful society. It is a wonderful gateway into a whole new world of self knowledge and awareness. There is much more to Yoga than the physical poses that have become mainstream.

In Yoga we move in two directions, we become more grounded and aware of our physical being and we bring more silence into our mind. The more silence the mind has, the more aware we are of our selves in the present moment, the only moment that is real. This fundamental shift changes everything and a whole new way of being arises that creates ripples through our whole life. There is a sense of empowerment and clarity about our unique nature. 

Yogic practice is designed to bring us back to ourselves. We spend all of our awake time in the stories of the mind, moving back and forth between old stories of the past and a projected future that is not real, usually filled with a sense of fear as we try to control the unknown. As we learn to settle into our bodies and we become stronger witnesses of the workings of our mind we can start to change how we view all the situations that are part of our lives. 

The only thing that Yoga will ask of you is that you do your practice in a regular and consistent way. The practice itself will lead you into greater openness and awareness. The practice embodies the teachings in you.

Manny