About Me

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I have an art degree from Rhode Island school of Design. My visual arts background has expanded into the healing and transformational arts. I am a life/spiritual coach and wellness consultant. I have walked the shaman's path. I practice and teach Eastern and Energy Medicine, Shiatsu, Massage and Yoga. It is my experience that the power of touch and movement can access ones heart, soul, inner truth, unique expression and creativity which is a vehicle to living a joyful and fulfilling life. My blog will include my poetry, photographs, art, insights, experiences and suggestions for living a life that you love! If you are new to this site, please review my older submissions as well as the new ones for they all contain information and concepts that I wish to share and keep alive.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yoga as a Spiritual Practice

I have been practicing yoga for over 30 years and during that time I have seen many changes in attitude and understanding around it shift. When I began my practice many questioned whether yoga was a religion. As individual experience of yoga grew, people realized that it is a spiritual practice that has nothing to do with organized religion but could enhance individual spirituality no matter what your core beliefs.

Another shift that has taken place is that in the past it was easier to have a group of people commit to their yoga practice over time. As a teacher this made it easier to introduce theory and concepts and deepen knowledge and understanding. One session built upon the other. The energy of the class became a container for spiritual growth. If a new person joined the group the review process would further deepen the spiritual understanding of those who had experienced it already.

Teachers are more challenged today as many people are less committed to long term practice. Each class may contain new people with different experiences. People come sporadically when time allows. Every person has different expectations of what they want to get out of a yoga class and many do not understand that yoga is a spiritual practice at all. 

What seems to be more of an issue teaching at the moment is that many people view Yoga as an element of an exercise program and not a spiritual practice. This may be due to the fact that many gyms are teaching yoga and promoting it as such. Yoga is good exercise but when it is taught in it's totality it is exercise not only for the body, but for the mind, and development of the spirit as well.  I am surprised when students do not know the definition of yoga. When I teach, I start my classes with students breathing in the energy of yoga. The energy of unity, The energy of connecting oneself to the divine source within. I teach that this can be a very personal definition. I hold space for the spirituality of yoga to flow.

I always teach some aspect of Yoga philosophy as part of a guided meditation at the beginning of class. I carry this thread throughout the class to introduce the spiritual aspect into movement, breath and meditation. This is new for many students who have had teachers in the past that have just taught the physical movement and postures on the mat. Most students welcome this aspect and I have feedback from many that this style of learning has deepen their understanding and the spiritual aspects of their practice; the relationship to themselves and the world as a whole. Feedback from other students has been that they want to "Do Yoga" not learn theory. Of course, again this shows the a lack of understanding and different expectations of what yoga truly is.

My goal as a Yoga teacher is to be true to myself, my practice, and my commitment to share the spiritual aspects of Yoga. Those who resonate with this will be attracted to my classes. In the past year I have made a personal commitment as I have renovated my former apartment rental into my private yoga space. This is created as sacred space where I can teach small intimate classes and create a dedicated spiritual community. I see all of my experiences with yoga over the years as food for spiritual growth and maturity. It has served me well and I will continue share my experiences and pay it forward.

1 comment:

  1. Believers and practitioners ascribe a lot of positive health benefits to spiritual healing. Such health benefits include relief from stress, pain, body aches and insomnia, and improvement of blood pressure, blood circulation and organ function. These, plus all improvements on disease symptoms, are linked with the easing up of a person's emotional and mental load.

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