Greetings LifeFit yogis and friends! February is the month that brings us back to what makes the world go round: LOVE! Just thinking of this word, seeing it in print, evokes emotions that make us feel supported, inspires thought and action. Hopefully we then recognize the importance to show up and support those we love and to live from integrity – it is that simple but the core of the practice is to love and accept who we are first.
Now that LifeFit yogis have deepened their practice, I want to bring to your attention 4 types of yoga as described in the Bhagavad Gita, a text older than the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
1. Karma Yoga, the yoga of action, think; what goes around comes around
2. Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of Devotion; this includes romantic love, brotherly love, spiritual love and leads to our evolution
3. Jnana Yoga, the quest for knowldege which keeps us coming back to our gratitude practices as we realize how great God is, giving us all of our connections, the world we live in and our intricate bodies.
4. Astanga Yoga, the 8 fold path, or the yoga we tend to focus on in the West. These “8 limbs” are where we find yamas and niyamas (direction for pure living), asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathwork), dhyana (meditation), pratyhara (mind-withdrawal), dharana (concentration), and samadhi (enlightenment).
All 4 are connected to that foundational word: Love. So then, the great self-reflection question for February: are you living from your head or from your heart? The heart, the fourth chakra, is the seat of intuition. When we lead from our heart, our life is full and our energy is great for doing what we are meant to do: give and receive love! This allows us to embrace all of life with resilience and includes being ready to share our gifts, participate in community, refine our relationships, grow as spiritual beings, and embrace all of life with love and acceptance. Living from your heart allows you the self-motivation to show up, keep moving forward, to be intuitive, to check in with your body, to harness your self-confidence, and to be open to each day, each person, each situation that you encounter. Living by loving allows you to be accepting and to be present. So then, let us practice yoga, and let us practice what it really means to “love one another.” – John 3:16
In 2018, I hope you find ways to form and create new patterns of successful living so that your practices, your health and your relationships are in full alignment with your heart.
With sincere love,
Yoga Teacher Training Begins in June, 2018 – Sign up by March 31!
As yogis, we are attune to the fact that we are spiritual beings, and most of us are open to using our yoga for finding new ways to improve ourselves. When a challenge arises, we seek to learn from it so we can grow and evolve to do better next time. But, often, what is hidden underneath are old habits that do not serve us, called samscaras in Sanskrit, which linger and keep us from making progress and replacing the old habits with the new. It is too easy to let our old habits lead the way and it is rather challenging to be mindful to embrace new ways of doing things.
Interestingly enough, moving forward boils down to “awareness” and “practice,” and these two words are the foundation of what we do in yoga. The more we do yoga with intention to learn about ourselves and improve our situations, the more we are empowered to move, think and act with a mindfulness for creating new ways to open up to embracing life, love, and the potentials of our future. Are you ready to deepen your practice? Consider yoga teacher training! One third of all yoga teacher training candidates participate for the opportunity to learn more. You can decide to teach or not. At the Institute of Integrate Yoga Therapy, we designed our foundational 200 hour teacher training schedule so that it is practical for most everyone as it is divided into 5 weekends and one week of study and avoids the holiday months. See here for more information and the schedule. Sign up by the end of March, 2018 and we begin the first weekend in June - we’d love to have you join us!
LifeFit Specialty Classes in February
In the past few months, there has been opportunity for LifeFit students and friends to supplement with special classes offered on Sunday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:15. Here is our February offerings:
1. February 18: Partner Yoga – This FUN, interactive partner class is for all yogis, come with a partner or not. Come as a couple, with a sibling, parent, friend, … and come ready to learn that partner yoga can be a greater experience because of the traction, vibration, accessibility to new poses, different energy when practicing a pose with another yogi, and the element of play. Come with an open mind to work with a partner and to work as a group. Please bring a yoga mat and blanket and a strap if you have one. Sign up and pay by Feb to receive an eye pillow to use during the restoratives at the end and to keep for your continued practice! Sign up here.
2. February 25 TRE: Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercise (see www.traumarelease.com ). In the past months we have incorporated yoga poses to substitute for the 7 traditional steps that initiate the TRE process and the recent requests are to return to those original 7 steps/exercises so that we know them better. This class is for those new or already seasoned in TRE. Are you ready to understand and feel how vibration is healing? This is a practice that truly allows us to learn from and to trust the body. It requires “mind on the body,” which allows us to stay present and not to allow the mind to race and play tricks that sabotage our chance to let go of what holds us back. Sign up here.