On the left, we have an ancient goddess balancing all of the aspects of life. On the right, we have a modern-day goddess balancing all aspects and responsibilities of modern life. Ashtanga (eight limbed yoga) helps us to balance all of these different aspects of our lives so that you can become a complete powerful Goddess.
Imagine you went to a football game. You sat down bought your popcorn and your beer, and you watched two hours of cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are great, I really like cheerleaders. At the end of the cheerleader exposition, someone got onto the field and threw a football to another person at the end of the field. Then you went home. What was missing?
In most football games, the game of football is the main event. The cheerleaders, the halftime show, the tailgating parties, the beer, the hot dogs…are all part of the football game. Hanging out with your friends, having the most loyal body paint, and making the most noise are also part of the football game. But the major part of going to watch the football game is the football game. Without it, you would feel cheated.
Yoga is very similar. Yoga is about connecting and balancing yourself with the multiverse that surrounds you. This includes your moral code, your responsibility to your tribes, taking care of your mental and physical health… The poses which are similar to cheerleading in cool clothing is a very important part of yoga. Posture yoga helps you to connect your body with your mind and the world around you. If you are only involved in the cheerleading you are missing out on the major part of the game.
Astanga Yoga literally means eight-limbed yoga. These eight limbs are…
Niyamas – The things that we need to observe and do with our own lives in the multiverse.
Yamas – The things out in the multiverse that we need to avoid.
Asanas – The way that we hold ourselves in the multiverse (postures).
Pranayama – The manipulation of energy in the multiverse (breathing, chi,…etc.).
Pratyahara – Being able to shut off the noise of our own mind and our senses (mindfulness).
Dharana – Single pointed attention (focus).
Dyana – Entering into flow states in a wide variety of circumstances (meditation).
Samadhi – Living your life in a flow state in all of your life with a complete understanding of the universe.
Finally, we have Kaivala Yoga. This is jumping up and becoming of service to others. As the Beatles called it “The Fool on the Hill”.
Sundays we will be having Astanga Yoga Lessons. Instructions and examples of each of these will be presented and discussed as a group. This will start with a general overview to help create a foundation of understanding for each of these limbs. Then a detailed discussion of each of the limbs will take place on following Sundays. Just as one of your limbs has many parts (forearm, hand, palm, digits), each of these limbs has many parts. This is why when the Indian Gods and Goddesses are pictured they have more than one hand.
We will be practicing how to observe our world, how to understand our world, and how to use this correct thinking to make proper judgments in our lives. We will be working on eliminating guilt, shame, and blame which is the main cause of suffering in our world today. This is not only shame and blame that is poured on you, but it could also be shame and blame that you are pouring out on others. We will learn that whatever we want in life we need to be giving to others. Come and enjoy the complete game of Yoga. The game of life. This includes the hotdogs, the crowds, the beer, the rivalries, the compassion, and the cheerleaders.
You are great and wonderful!