Thanks you, Matthew, for sharing your story. Life can be experienced as a living death, this an easily identifiable pattern all around us. Through yoga, especially breathwork which is the key for me--far beyond the physical poses--I have slowly learned about this body-mind connection. There is a huge body of scientific work on this. It is not now considered some "New Age," airy-fairy idea.
After initial training, when one is learning the structure of asanas, there begins the truly opening up of yoga practice. By that, I mean that a sense of spaciousness, energetic aliveness, and the (blissful!!) falling away of the chattering mind, occurs. Out of the (thinking) mind and into a wholeness that only comes within our willingness to pay attention, stay where we are and allow that body-mind business to occur. The breath helps take us there, our focus clears to allow each inhalation/exhalation to open awareness. We move beyond desire for a perfect pose (no such thing, anyway) and have experiences of really getting what it is like, on a visceral level--internally-- to inhabit this body.
Other benefits abound, as we know: our bodies become stronger, balance increases, blood pressure and all sorts of other physiological conditions improve. It is a long list. Mentally, emotionally and perhaps even spiritually, one finds more ease of living. Adding a meditation practice enhances all, and is part of the eight - limb path of Ashtanga yoga, not to be confused with the hatha class also called ashtanga yoga.
I teach older students, very small classes. This has been the greatest blessing in my life. Having just celebrated my 65th birthday, I can attest to the benefits of a yoga practice. Matthew reminds us of yoga's inclusivity. He shows us the way to live fully alive every day, whatever we may be doing.
My greatest wish is that those who do not practice yoga now, but who think they want to and may be hesitant to try, that you will gather your courage and seek out a teacher offering beginner's level classes and dive in. Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a REAL TRUE PLACE waiting for you on a yoga mat, somewhere. I, and many others, look forward to sharing the gift that yoga can be.
The yearning for wholeness, the relief from physical/ mental sufferingThe desire for health and happiness, for ease in living midst the chaosMay you find your way.
Namaste' (the light in me honors the light in you)
Many thanks Krista and crew for this extraordinary program, important and much-needed work in the world today.
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