Light on Yoga – A reflection.
“Happy is the man who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the transient and the good from the pleasant by his discrimination and wisdom”
Light on Yoga is more than a reference tool for my practice and my growth as an instructor, but it also encompasses the duality, layers, and beauty that is Yoga.
The introduction of Light On Yoga really sets you up to have a complete understanding and perspective to all this is yoga. Personally, it speaks volumes to the life I am trying to live and create. We are mind, body, and spirit and what has helped me to find my awareness and wake me up is encompassing all three very unique yet entwined pieces of who we are not only as people, but also who we are as spirits, souls, our entire being of intellect and the physical body. We are so much more than this physical world and through my own experience I have found this to be so very true.
As a yoga instructor, Iyengar really lays out a concise overview of everything that this practice does entail. In order for me to provide a practice that not only has integrity but also encourages my students to follow their own path, I need to be one with the philosophy and really live an authentic life to lead the way and show it can be done. I need to detach from this physical world of things and stuff – which I feel like I have had to do through hard lessons in life. But the hardest of lessons make way for the truest of wisdoms. I have felt what it is to be low, alone, lost, confused, and to a breaking point where I did not want to move, I did not want to breath, I did not want to meditate on what I have lost or what still belongs to me. But then something happened and I wish I could pin point an exact date or time, but I cannot. All I know is that there was a moment in the darkness where some light shed through, just a glimpse, just a spark, and when I saw it I knew I needed to move my life toward the light. Ever since then, by giving my control over to Gods hands and his divine legion, I have been able to move again, breath again, and dream again for something better – and then yoga just presented itself to me – something I never experienced or thought I would or could do – but it’s now a part of my life and it has given me awareness, hope, and I know in my heart, soul, and mind, I am here to share that hope with others.
I feel like I am at a point in my life currently where all of this speaks volumes to my soul. It took me being in a very dark and lonely place to find the resilience in myself and the friend within myself to believe I can heal, move forward, and live a life that is all for the highest of good. Yoga is a practice that teaches us compassion, forgiveness, and detachment from this physical world – without this, I could not have found a way to heal, grow, learn, and use all of being to discover who I am and what I am capable of.
One of the subjects Iyengar speaks about in the introduction that really spoke to me is how once we give our life to God and put his love and his love alone into what and why we do the things we do, he will provide – and he sure has!
I am not speaking of religion or in one set of beliefs, but I know without hesitation, there is a piece of the Divine in all of us, and that Divine light is solely Love.
There was a time where I literally said out loud “OK, GOD, you are in control!” and since that moment opportunities have just presented themselves in my life. I have literally gone with the flow these past couple of years (which is the opposite of what I used to do and be – I always needed a plan and felt like I had to be the one to have it all together), but now, by going with this Divine flow, Divine intervention, I feel more alive, more blessed, and more focused on what it is I need to do to not only find myself, heal, and live, but also an outlet to share this experience with others. I have been experiencing abhaya, or freedom from fear, I have been practicing ahimsa, seeing myself and others with more compassion, and even when injustice is happening, I am reminded that only love will prevail.
I really believe we are mind, body, and spirit and we have to work on all dynamics of our life to attain our highest of good. As a Yoga instructor, this is definitely a principle I will use in my practice. Just as important as it is to work on the physical body through asana and our nutrition, we must also work on the mental, emotionally, and spiritual components of our lives to really reach our peak potential and to hopefully one day reach Samadhi – our highest connection to the eternal world of the divine (I hope one day to get there).
I will continue to weave in meditation, pranayama, and asana into each and every practice – encouraging my students to find the resilience and light within themselves, because the best teacher is the teacher who is no longer needed, I look forward to seeing my students grow, shine, and walk their own true path.
Light on Yoga will provide a reference tool for when I need to study up on postures and pranayama, as well as when I need a spiritual/intellectual refresher when life gets too heavy and dim.
I enjoyed the pictures, techniques, and effects for the asanas. I do see and believe this reference is made for a mans body and will have to use my knowledge of alignment from class to make most of these poses safer in female bodies, but it still is a great resource to see how to get into the pose and how the pose influences our bodies, minds, and spirit with the subtle energetic bodies.
With pranayama and meditation, I was happy to read that Iyengar encourages us to take this on as baby steps. We cannot think this is something we just are naturally good at, but instead we must put in the effort and practice to attain the benefits that come with breathe work and meditation. This is also something I am working on every single day – when life becomes too much and emotions get the best of me, I just need to take a conscious breath (sometimes over and over again) and I can calm my body, mind, and spirit.
Overall, I did enjoy Light on Yoga and can see how this will provide insight as my practice grows, but I did not agree with everything – I believe it just is slightly outdated as far as our most recent discoveries with alignment and safety, and definitely was designed for a male body. However, the philosophical aspects of the practice could not speak more clearly to my soul and I look forward to learning more and living more each and every day.
Light + Yogi Love,