Place your burden at the feet of the Lord of the Universe who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart, in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present, and future.
He will determine the future for you and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done at the proper time.
Abide in the heart and surrender your acts to the divine.
THE YOGA I practice and teach is as taught to me by Master Teachers Erich Schiffmann and Tim Miller.
The thrust of the teachings is that yoga is more than touching your toes, or standing on your head, or folding yourself into a pretzel. It’s about how you do what you do, and how you live your daily life on a moment-to-moment basis. Yoga makes you feel good. It’s relaxing. It’s energizing. It’s strengthening. Life runs more smoothly when you maintain a consistent discipline than when you don’t.
Yoga enhances your experience of life. It changes your perspective.
You start seeing things differently, with less distortion – which results in more peace of mind, better health, more enthusiasm for life, and an ever-growing authentic sense of inner well-being.
As you practice yoga and meditation regularly, this subtle sense of feeling good gradually becomes so pervasive, so natural and genuine, so much a part of you that it carries over into the whole of your life. And in doing so it helps clarify your deepest longings, motivations, and aspirations, thereby restoring optimism, hope, meaning, and purpose to life.
The thrust of yoga is aimed at the monumental, life-changing discovery of who and what you truly are. This is how yoga works, how it makes you feel good. It helps you experience the truth, your truth – which, you discover, is goodness. Your basic nature is happiness.
At any instant, the quality of your life is directly related to how interested you are in it. Yoga involves learning to generate energy, and also to focus it into different parts of your body. This enables you to break through physical and psychological blocks, increasing energy, which allows new interest to come into your life.
People think they are limited by their body’s endurance – that tiring is purely physical. I have found it is usually not the body that tires first, but rather, the mind, which loses the stamina, required for attention. When your mind tires, your attention wanes and begins to wander, and sensitivity to your body’s messages diminishes. You treat the body with less care, and this tires it more quickly.
The way we build security in our life involves habits that we are often not conscious of. Some habits are necessary. They become dangerous if we unconsciously let them direct our lives. Repeating habits over time tends to put you on automatic like a machine, and filters how you relate to the present. If your habits are rigid and deep in the unconscious, the filter is very cloudy and you miss the present. If you miss the present, you miss all there really is.
One of the real gifts yoga gives you is more sensitivity to life, which moves you toward what is appropriate for you. In the process of yoga, habits and ways of being can leave or modify on their own.
Transformation is an endless process to be lived that cannot be captured or possessed – you can only participate in it.
Ashtanga yoga literally means “eight-limbed yoga,” as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:
Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal]
The definition of yoga is “the controlling of the mind” [citta vrtti nirodhah]. The first two steps toward controlling the mind are the perfection of yama and niyama. However, it is “not possible to practice the limbs and sub-limbs of yama and niyama when the body and sense organs are weak and haunted by obstacles”. A person must first take up daily asana practice to make the body strong and healthy. With the body and sense organs thus stabilized, the mind can be steady and controlled.
To perform asana correctly in Ashtanga yoga, one must incorporate the use of vinyasa and tristhana. “Vinyasa” means movement to the breath. For each movement, there is one breath. The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Synchronizing breathing and movement in the asanas heats the blood, cleaning and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. Improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and disease from the internal organs. The sweat generated from the heat of vinyasa then carries the impurities out of the body. Through the use of vinyasa, the body becomes healthy, light and strong.
The practice of Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient and powerful discipline for cultivating physical, mental and spiritual health. Progressive techniques of breath, posture and movement, cleanse, stretch and strengthen the body as well as focus and calm the mind. A deeper experience of the self becomes possible through consistent practice.
The practice itself, done consistently and accurately, is the real teacher.
The call was to be, without thinking — to allow the parade of insane ideas and feelings to pass by without validating or reacting to them [thinking about them]. The call was to come home to Peace without regarding them, understanding that all the circumstances and predicaments one’s imagination introduces must be met with the question: “Can peace heal this?”
Even though the problem [thinking] seems too great for peace to heal — even though it seems to be the thing that destroys peace with great disturbing vitality — the answer is: “Yes, peace can heal this dilemma, this confusion, this insanity!”
By shutting up! By silencing emotional incoherence!
It is through silence that
you engage in the holy instant,
and it is through engaging in the holy instant
that you silence emotional incoherence!