Yoga, Community, and New Beginnings

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Our Practice Space

The word Sādhana can be translated as “practice” or a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal.  Yogi Bhajan has said: “The strength of a community is directly proportional to the strength of their group Sādhana.”   The Sanskrit Word for Community is Sangha.  These past few months I have witnessed our Sangha, our community, flourish and expand in our new space.  Their dedication and enthusiasm is inspirational.  Their strength and grace is exquisite.

In the Anusara Teacher Training Manual, John Friend explains: “Our Attitude is what distinguishes us and transforms us.  The power of the heart that is the force behind every action or expression in an asana (posture) resides within Attitude.  Attitude is both the power behind your intention for practicing hatha yoga and the power that ultimately fulfills your intention.  You might do the practice of hatha yoga to improve the health or appearance of the physical body, or to clear blocked emotions and help balance your emotional state, or to promote mental clarity and balance, or any combination of these purposes.  Intertwined with Attitude and intention is willpower–a deep inner force that is a balance between self-effort and the ability to surrender.”

As 2011 draws to a close, we have the opportunity to make some decisions about what we will choose to let go of and what we will carry with us into the new year.  Through the practice of Yoga, we may be more capable of discerning where to apply effort and when to pull in the oars.  We also have the power to create intentions.  Intentions that can be cultivated with attitude, willpower, and practice.

“Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning…”

What are your intentions for 2012?

For a New Beginning

By John O’Donohue
(1956 – 2008)

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

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