I have spent the last three days immersed in yoga. Not that I am not always immersed in yoga, it is just that I amped that up three-fold. I spent Friday and Saturday studying Iyengar yoga with JinSung, my former teacher from the Bay Area, and today I spent all day with Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson studying Heart Yoga, the yoga of Sacred Activism.
JinSung speaks deeply and clearly about the structural alignment of the body in yoga. He presents fundamentals of alignment and links them through all poses. Actions which seems to contradict one another become clear and greater space is found within. And, he is a master of the use of belts and props. I definitely learned new ways to strap and wrap the body. Students beware: time for more yogi bondage.
Today, I was fortunate enough to be able to join Wisdom University for the first day of a five-day Intensive on Heart Yoga. Andrew Harvey, one of the our great modern mystics spoke with fire and passion, encouraging us to examine our own inner obstacles to living vibrantly in the moment. Karuna, a yogini of deep wisdom, led us in a compassionate and restorative practice, opening our hearts and nurturing our spirits.
So here is a little truth about me: I consider myself a peacenik. I hope that every step I place upon this earth is one of creating peace. In a previous incarnation (e.g. my other professional career) I was a mediator, working to help individuals and groups resolve conflicts and find opportunities for collaboration. Living and teaching yoga, while not as”sexy” as being “international mediation consultant” is also all about resolving conflict and teaching peace. So maybe I am no longer out there doing dramatic things to negotiate and reduce some of the more public conflicts of our times, but I hope and believe that by teaching and sharing yoga, I am helping to creating spaces of peace within individuals who will then share that energy with their friends, families and communities.
This is the path of the Sacred Activist. The path, that given the current state of the world, most of us are treading. The path to which we must give our hearts fully in order to find the strength to address the grave issues confronting all of us.
So, my fellow yogis, know that in every practice you are creating a better world. By moving your bodies, removing the stress, finding alignment, and opening your hearts, you are creating peace, not just on your mats, but beyond. You are all Sacred Activists. Everything thing you do matters.
Shalom & Namaste,