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February 9, 2016
  •  By: Donny Starkins

Yoga: So much more than a physical practice.

Over the last few weeks in class, I’ve been asking my students to take their yoga practice beyond their physical bodies and make it something more than just a physical exercise. I’ve been encouraging them to make it spiritual, emotional, metaphysical and really go beyond where the mind can take them.

Vinyasa Yoga (which is the style of yoga I teach) translates as “connection” or where movement and breath are linked together leading to “flow consciousness,” continuous conscious awareness of the present moment. So although we are moving in the body, the mind is still and centered around the breath. I like to say we are tricking the mind by putting our focus on linking the breath to the movement of the body. This becomes a moving meditation where the breath is in control instead of our minds for a nice change!

Yoga teaches us about the power of connection. The yoga practice breaks through the layers of disconnection that happens in between our classes. This disconnection I’m referring to is the “busyness” and the rush of our daily lives. We all have a lot going on and if we don’t take time to get still and centered, we can get caught up in the whirlwind of every moving part around us.  Moving at a fast pace all the time makes it hard to see or hear anything. When we take time to slow down and quiet the noise, we become present, connected and gain sweet wisdom and insight about ourselves and the world around us. In a time of constant movement, there is nothing more important than getting grounded and still. Yoga provides an anchor to a quieter domain of life, it will unhook us from all those patterns of thinking that cause us to suffer and offers the promise of remaining centered in the midst on any chaos life brings us. Yoga is a system us humans can use to access the true power of connection and find our way into the present moment.

 

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