Are Patanjali's Yoga Sutras Still Relevant Today?

Are Patanjali's Yoga Sutras Still Relevant Today?

 
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Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are the earliest known recordings of yoga philosophy.

There are many translations and interpretations of the Yoga Sutras, all originating from an oral tradition of short, instructive phrases passed down from almost 2000 years ago. Each sentence is a contemplation meant to guide you to explore what Yoga is and how to practice it. The word sutra literally means ‘thread’, and each sutra represents one thread in a vast and diverse tapestry of yoga philosophy.

You might assume this instructional yoga book would be filled with yoga poses and flows designed to free the body, mind and spirit. Actually the only sutra to directly reference asana, or the physical practice, in this yoga tome is one that says we should find a comfortable seat, specifically one that is a balance of effort and ease. So, why does this classic yoga textbook not mention more asana? To gain some insight, let’s check out the second sutra in Book One: 

 
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Yoga Sutra 1:2
Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

In much eastern philosophy it’s believed that attachment to things, people, and ideas are the cause of suffering. Enlightenment is the release from that suffering. So by limiting our reactions to the constant fluctuations of our thinking mind, we can see things from a bigger perspective. Discerning a more accurate view of our relationship to the nature of this life and ourselves with in it. By doing this we can find a place of inner harmony and balance.


So according to Patanjali, Yoga is really a practice of the mind.

More steeped in philosophy and psychology than physical asana. It is a path to exploring our consciousness. By developing a certain introspective awareness, we can navigate through the chaos of life with grace and ease. Seeing things as they truly are. After all, we are not human beings doing yoga, we are humans being yoga.


So how does this meditative self-awareness enhance our physical practice?

By examining ourselves through the meditative guidelines of the sutras we can surely be led to a more honest and genuine practice as we come face-to-face with our own personal obstacles and pitfalls. By outlining things such as our misconceptions, verbal delusions, or even anxiety caused by imprinted negative beliefs, the sutras can help us explore the mental arenas within us that directly affect our physical practice. Delving deeper into concepts such as the crippling power the ego can have on us and the dangers of pursuing goals for power rather than because they come from a genuine and heartfelt place can help us approach our time on the mat from a healthy and equanimous mind.

To truly experience the freedom Yoga offers

We must let go of our perfectionist need to achieve, instead, practicing nonattachment when it comes to the outcome of our practice. The practice itself is the prize. Maybe the sutras have remained relevant after all this time because it truly is an accurate observation of our tendencies as humans. Though in two thousand years life has changed dramatically, the essence of our minds remain the same.

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So can reading the sutras improve your yoga practice?

I guess in the end that’s up to you. If you approach it with devotion, an open heart, and much patience, it may enhance a lot more than just your practice on the mat. It may spill over into every area of your life ❤️

I hope this gives you a taste of what the sutras are and how they can be apllied, not just to our physical yoga practice but all areas of our life. If you’d like to learn more, join me Thursdays in May at 7:30 pm to explore the sutras in more depth in our Deepen and Discover: Soulful Sutra Studies Series. These classes are included in our monthly membership! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, I’m here for you!

Love,

Rainbow








7 Reasons I'm Addicted to Magical Marfa with Mobile Om

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7 Reasons I'm Addicted to Magical Marfa with Mobile Om

I just cant stop! Every time the yearly retreat is announced I get goosebumps and my heart starts beating fast in anticipation of the adventure! Marfa is such a paradoxically special place to visit in any capacity, but going with my Omies is what makes it truly magical. Both relaxing and exciting, quiet yet full of life, a ghosttown with a vibrance unmatched, if you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, wonder no more! Im about to share the top 7 reasons the Marfa Retreat is the one retreat I will never say no to.

  1. The town itself is a living, breathing work of art.

Dinner at Al Campo Restaurant during our 2018 Marfa Retreat. Photo by Amy Johnson

Dinner at Al Campo Restaurant during our 2018 Marfa Retreat. Photo by Amy Johnson

There is no direction you can look in and not feel as though you are in an art instillation. From the dining places, to the hotels and streets, to the majestic splendor of the West Texas landscape, Marfa is brilliant and beautiful. A haven for artists and creatives from the world over, you will be awed daily by the loving touches that make Marfa shine.

2. The food is incredible

A beautifully catered picnic spread from our 2016 Marfa Retreat. Photo By Jessica Giesey

A beautifully catered picnic spread from our 2016 Marfa Retreat. Photo By Jessica Giesey

It doesnt matter if you are a health nut, a die hard vegan, or love eating steaks and BBQ, from the catered meals to the restaurants to the food trucks and coffee stands, Marfa will tickle not just your taste buds, but all of your senses as they nourish you with style.

3. Intimate yoga flows

Me, enjoying a beautiful outdoor practice with hands on assists by Mobile Om Founder Cassandra Fauss. Photo at our first Marfa Retreat in 2016. Photo by Jessica Giesey

Me, enjoying a beautiful outdoor practice with hands on assists by Mobile Om Founder Cassandra Fauss. Photo at our first Marfa Retreat in 2016. Photo by Jessica Giesey

It wouldn’t be a yoga retreat without daily yoga practices, and there is a reason I’ve been a ride or die omie since i started attending the chapel classes 4 years ago. The level of thought and love that go into the yoga flows take it far beyond the usual phyisical practice into the realms of the mystical. I love the intimacy and inspiration mindfully woven into each practice. I also love the hands on assists!!! Please touch me!

4. Engaging Workshops

Intro to Astrology Workshop at our 2018 Marfa Retreat. Photo by Amy Johnson

Intro to Astrology Workshop at our 2018 Marfa Retreat. Photo by Amy Johnson

I love a good workshop! Exploring new ideas, crafts and styles of yoga makes me feel like a kid at summer camp(with wine) We have made dream catchers, chakra balancing essential oils, explored astrology, yin yoga and more. I love spending time both relaxing, enjoying the company and insight of my Sangha and learning something new!

5. Dark Skies & Starry nights

Starry Night over the El Cosmico Tee Pees in Marfa.

Starry Night over the El Cosmico Tee Pees in Marfa.

There is nothing like the infinite starscape of West Texas to put everything into perspective. You have never seen the sky like this. Nuff said.

6. Community Camaraderie

Sharing down time with new friends at our 2017 Marfa Retreat.. Photo by Jessica Giesey

Sharing down time with new friends at our 2017 Marfa Retreat.. Photo by Jessica Giesey

As adults we so rarely get the opportunity to spend intimate quality time on this scale with like minded individuals. It is so refreshing to enjoy the company of everyone i have met on these retreats, The bonds made here are still strong, and often times we meet on the next Marfa trip, to relive the magic all over again.

7. Picnics in the mountains, Say What!!!

Picnic Time! photo by Amy Johnson

Picnic Time! photo by Amy Johnson

How majestic is this!! Picnicking on the side of a mountain while enjoying sparkling company, artfully prepared food and breathtaking views. This is one of those moments that live forever!

To be perfectly honest, I could continue on for hours about the reasons I love our yearly Marfa trip, but they are as infinite as the west Texas sky. The time and care put into curating this retreat paired with the depth and scope of the city itself multiplied by the beautiful people you come to know and love simply equal that this trip will change your life. It changed mine. It gives focus and perspective to my entire year each time I revisit. Marfa is my New Years Day. I hope you’ll join us this year to see for yourself. Every trip is different than the last, and every trip makes me love Marfa and Mobile Om even more.

Come with us! I’d love to get to know you!

Love,

Rainbow

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Welcome H(om)e : We're Growing Roots

Welcome H(om)e : We're Growing Roots

Welcome to our h(OM)e sweet h(OM)e.

Last month, we planted roots and opened the doors to Om Base, our new brick and mortar headquarters and donation-based yoga studio. After six years as a yoga nomad, I am excited to finally have a place to call h(om)e. The goal for Om Base is expand the mission of Mobile Om to hold space for inspiring mindfulness, cultivating connection and building community through yoga.

Creating this special space has been a labor of love, one that I believe began with a small seed of intention that was planted six years ago in a place not too far from to our new h(om)e. I had no idea back in 2013 when I hosted the very first Mobile Om class on the Hays Street Bridge that that was the first step of a wondrous and wandering journey that would lead us to where we are today.

 
Yoga mats unrolled in preparation for the first Mobile Om class on the Hays Street Bridge on June 21, 2013.

Yoga mats unrolled in preparation for the first Mobile Om class on the Hays Street Bridge on June 21, 2013.

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Six years ago when I was just starting out as a mobile yogi-preneur, I chose this quote as a tagline for Mobile Om not fully even realizing at the time just how fitting it would be for not only setting the tone for Mobile Om, but also for defining my path as it’s leader along the way.  

When I hosted the first Mobile Om yoga class on the bridge, I had no clue the path that lie ahead. I never even expected for Mobile Om to be much more than a few donation-based classes on the Hays Street Bridge. What I did have was a dream and a heartfelt desire to do something about it.

In 2013 the landscape of yoga in San Antonio looked much different than it does today, with far fewer yoga studios and even less yoga practitioners. There was a general lack of awareness in the community about yoga and I noticed that apprehension and intimidation were the biggest hurdles to overcome in getting people to show up for a yoga class.

Determined to reach those reluctant to yoga, it became my mission to find a better way to get through to those people who needed to hear the message of yoga the most. I saw the need to mobilize yoga outside of the traditional setting in order to make the practice more approachable and accessible to our community which led me to host that first donation-based class on the Hays Street Bridge six years ago. Unbeknownst to me, this class would also be the birth of Mobile Om.

What began as a movement to create an inclusive space where people feel comfortable showing up in their own skin blossomed into so much more. Mobile Om grew into more more than individuals practicing yoga in unique places. What blossomed was a community who show up to practice with and be a stand for greatness in one another.

 
No hurries, no worries. Take a moment before or after class to relax in our living room lounge.

No hurries, no worries. Take a moment before or after class to relax in our living room lounge.

 

No matter how far your roam, there no place like home.

The last 6 years have been an incredible journey and Mobile Om has blossomed into something far beyond anything I would have imagined. We have had the opportunity to host yoga classes in some of San Antonio’s most iconic local landmarks and have introduced thousands of people in our community to the practice of yoga.

As our mobile yoga efforts have flourished, so, too, has the overall landscape of yoga in San Antonio and yoga now holds a much larger footprint in our city. With more local studios and people practicing yoga than ever before, yoga has become far more accessible and class options across the city more plentiful. It’s incredible to step back and think that, in some way, Mobile Om has had an impact on opening up our community to the practice of yoga.

The decision to put down more permanent roots and make our own mark on the yoga studio landscape is one that has evolved through the yearning to further the intention of Mobile Om in this new era of yoga in San Antonio. As our offerings grew to include more in-depth programming such as teacher trainings, workshops and series, so, too, grew the need for a home to welcome our community to gather and grow together.

When the opportunity to open a space so close to the Hays Street Bridge, where the seed for Mobile Om was planted, presented itself, I could not pass it up. Om Base will be an expansion of the Mobile Om brand with a focus on offering specialized classes, workshops and teacher trainings as well as hosting a daily schedule of donation-based yoga classes.

Don’t worry, we will still be just as mobile as ever, offering all of your favorite classes in the community and will continue to expand our mobile efforts in the community along with the growth of the studio.

 
Inside the studio space at Om Base, located at 125 Lamar Suite 105.

Inside the studio space at Om Base, located at 125 Lamar Suite 105.

 

Come discover your h(om)e away from home. All are welc(om)e here.

If you have not had the chance to visit our new h(om)e, I want to personally invite you to come join us for a class and check out our new Eastside digs. As an offering of appreciation for supporting our wandering ways throughout the years, I would love to offer you a FREE CLASS to come see us at Om Base! See below for details.

Thanks for your support and I look forward to welcoming you into our new home.

Cheers,
Cassandra


How to access your FREE CLASS at OM Base:
1. Follow the link below to view our full schedule.
2. Find a class to take at OM Base + Click “Book Now!”
3. Choose any donation amount and go to your Cart.
4. Enter discount code OMFREE + Click “Complete”
5. Join us for your FREE CLASS at OM Base!

Meet Me Monday: Magenta Najera

Meet Me Monday: Magenta Najera

Introducing: Meet Me Monday

We stand in awe every day of the Sangha we have built within our beautiful community. Inspiring connections off the mat has always been a driving force behind what we do. In our classes, connection begins when you first arrive and are met with the friendly face of one of our our Karma Yogis. During class, we’re not shy about asking you to get off your mat to meet someone new. After class, we are inspired by the connections and conversations that are sparked between souls who were strangers just an hour before.

Individually we shine, but as a group we stand together to offer love, support and dedication to our practice and those who practice beside us. This is what makes our yoga community truly unique. In an effort to extend our efforts of connection and community, we have created Meet Me Monday, a weekly blog featuring faces from our community. Each week we will feature a student, a teacher or a karma yogi and ask them a few questions to gain insight on what motivates and inspires them so next time you see them on the mat, you can say hello!


Meet Magenta.

Magenta is an avid part of our community so chances are you have seen this blue-haired beauty in class. She is our Lead Karma Yogi, graduate of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program and the newest yoga instructor to join our team. Take a moment to learn a little more about her.

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What is your favorite place to practice/teach?

My favorite place to practice and teach is Om Base! This space truly has the energy of coming home, like taking a sigh of release. I can trust that every practice will be just what I need to reset and dive deep. 

Why Mobile Om?

Mobile Om is an amazing community of teachers and students that I never thought I would find. I have learned so much from them on and off the mat. I found comfort in the community to get outside of my comfort zone and allow myself to unfold. 

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What keeps you coming back to your mat?

My journey to myself, the bliss of internally and externally working through and releasing what no longer serves me, Savasana! Lol

What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken off your mat and into your life?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to find balance between effort and ease. Bringing this into my day to day life has enhanced the way I look at obstacles and has allowed me to shine through the tough times.

Magenta is leading our new OM 45 Flow, an abbreviated 45-minute practice starting at Noon on Mondays and Wednesdays at our Om Base Studio. To find out more about Magenta’s class schedule click here.


Stay Tuned Next Week!

For our next Meet Me Monday, we will introduce you to someone you’ve probably seen on the mat next to you at some point. He is one of our most dedicated OMies and we’re excited to get to know him!

Would you like to introduce yourself to our community? We’d love to get to know more about you! Email rainbow@mobileomtx.com for more info!

5 Life Changing Benefits of Mobile Om Yoga Teacher Training

5 Life Changing Benefits of Mobile Om Yoga Teacher Training

Embarking on the journey of becoming a yoga teacher is about more than simply learning the knowledge needed to safely and effectively lead students through an asana practice. The path to becoming an authentic and empowered yoga teacher is a process of self-discovery and enlightenment through experience. 

I started the Mobile Om Yoga Teacher Training because I felt there was something missing in most of the teachers I saw graduating from yoga teacher trainings. While many of them were well equipped with technical knowledge of the asana practice, their teaching lacked the heart and soul that I found in the teachers who truly inspired me. 

As I developed the Mobile Om Teacher Training curriculum, I knew I wanted to create a program that was distinctively different, steeped in learning and experiencing the full spectrum of the yoga practice,as a journey inward. I designed the Mobile Om 200 Hour program as a unique and immersive journey into personal discovery and development. We take a practical approach to the traditional teachings of yoga, applying the ancient wisdom to modern life and fully engaging in all aspects of the practice. This journey takes our trainees deep into the heart of yoga and creates teachers who are able to share with authenticity and lead confidently through experience and compassion. 

Curious about what else makes the Mobile Om 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training stand out? Here are a list of 5 life-changing benefits of our training…

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1. Deepen your asana and meditation practice. 

The most fundamental traits of an empowered and inspiring yoga teacher is embracing the role of a perpetual student. To truly uncover the possibilities that lie in this practice, it requires first hand experience. Our teacher training will hold you accountable to a consistent yoga and meditation practice that will provide the breeding ground for your growth as a yoga teacher. Aside from the hours of group practices during our weekends together, you will be require to complete at least 20 yoga classes throughout the duration of training. 

2. Discover your deepest, most genuine self. 

Beyond the physical practice, the process of yoga is a journey inward, an uncovering of what lies beneath and an awakening to the truth within. The practices of yoga helps to uncover the layers of life that have been built and block us from seeing our innermost truth. Our teacher training program is designed to crack you open and break down the boundaries of your current beliefs about yourself and the world around you. In this process, you will learn to listen a little closer to your heart, allow space for inpiration and intuition and trust the guidance of your inner voice.

3. Uncover and empower your authentic voice.

A yoga teachers greatest skill is being a clear and powerful communicator. Whether using voice, touch, breath or body language, an empowered yoga teacher communicates through presence, compassion and authenticity. The Mobile Om teacher training program encourages students to drop the scripts, get out of their heads and learn to speak and lead from the heart, sharing from personal experience. We focus on staying grounded and engaged directly with your students to inspire others through you own yoga journey. 

4. Enhance your knowledge of yoga philosophy, anatomy and spirituality. 

Yoga teacher training is the perfect place to dive deeper into the more subtle realms of yoga practice and learn more about the history and philosophy of this ancient practice. Our program is steeped in exploration of the spiritual and traditional yoga teachings as well as applying this ancient art of awareness to modern day life. 

5. Connect with a tribe of spiritual comrades. 

One of the most beautiful things to blossom throughout training is the connection you cultivate with your fellow trainees. Throughout the training, you will laugh, cry and grow together, establishing bonds that will last a lifetime. Beyond your trainees, you will also become immersed in the Mobile Om yoga community at large. With an unlimited class pass along with serving through our Karma Yoga program and eventually leading your own classes, you will quickly become part of our tribe of OMies and we can’t wait to have you! 

Interested in diving in? Check out mobileomtx.com/teacher-training for more information or email me at  cassandra@mobileomtx.com

Cheers!
Cassandra

MAYurveda Monday : Intro to Doshas

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MAYurveda Monday : Intro to Doshas

by Rainbow Marin

What is a Dosha?  

Your dosha is your mind-body type, or your general constitution. The five great elements (mahabhutas: space,air,fire,water and earth), influence all other elements. Their qualities make up the three doshas. The purpose of knowing your dosha is not to try to make sure all three doshas are equally strong in you, but to understand your natural state of being. When you are in balance you are abundant in all of the positive traits of all the doshas. When you are out of balance you tend to show the negative traits of your dosha first. The more we understand ourselves, the more we can mindfully approach our lives and the way we connect with everything around us, allowing us to be healthy and abundant in all aspects of our body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda is an ancient toolbook to help us do this. So lets talk about the doshas!
 

Vata Dosha: The Air Principle

Composed of space and air, the Vata person is thin and small with angular features. Imagine the qualities of space: vast, infinite, cold; and air: unpredictable, moving, drying. Vatas are fast paced in all they do. They are good communicators and love to chat. They can also be unreliable and downright flaky. They resist routines and may forget to sleep or eat. When in balance they are full of witty fun and energy. When out of balance they suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, dry skin, constipation and weight loss.

Pitta Dosha: The Fire Principle

Fire and water might seem like an unlikely mix, but they work together and have transformative powers. As in baking, you can mix a liquidy batter, then bake it, and when removed it is no longer the individual ingredients. It has now transformed through fire into a cake! This is the transformative effect of Pitta. They have a medium build, beautiful, penetrating eyes, and a healthy glow. They love order, and can be prone to perfectionism. Because of their strong digestive fire, they can eat what they want, but are usually drawn toward fried and spicy foods which can irritate them. In balance they are good leaders,passionate lovers and educators. When out of balance they can be irritable, unpleasant and furrow their brows alot. They can get acid indigestion, and when angry turn quite red.

Kapha Dosha: The Earth Principal

Made of earth and water, kapha is mud. Slow, moist, compact and heavy. They tend toward a large build and big bones. Large loving eyes and heavy cheeks dominate their face. Everything they do is slow, prefering to take their time. They are methodical and love routine. To others they are grounding and steady, known to be a great listener. When in balance they are the solid foundation of a company or family. Out of balance, they gain weight, become lethargic, become possessive, and produce excess mucus. Any dosha has a risk of struggling with depression when off balance, but Kapha is the quickest to fall into a dark depression, especially in late winter.

Understanding your dosha is an important part of knowing how to better listen to your body and what it needs. Our dosha is influenced greatly by the seasons, and by approaching each season of your life with mindful attention to your personal constitution( dosha), you can find health and balance. Now that we know the very basics of our doshas, next week we will discuss some simple ways to incorporate Ayurveda into our daily routine, and keep our doshas happy!

What's Your Dosha? 

The following evaluation is divided into three sections. Rate yourself between a 0-5 for each question, 0 if it doesn't apply to you at all and 5 if it is absolutely you. Total your scores at the end of each section.

Section 1.

  1. I've always been thin, it's difficult for me to gain weight,

  2. I tend to walk quickly, others have to hurry to keep up.

  3. I am easily nervous and anxious.

  4. I eat quickly.

  5. My mind is fast paced and creative.

  6. I'm a fast learner, but forget quickly.

  7. I pace when I'm on the phone.

  8. I struggle with constipation.

  9. My mind is active and restless.

  10. I blame myself often in conflict.

  11. If left up to me id have no pattern to sleep, eat.

  12. Im easily bored.

  13. Im often cold.

  14. My skin is dry and rough.

  15. I dislike cold and windy weather.

  16. People think I'm an airhead.

  17. Im pretty talkative.

  18. Im a light sleeper, I struggle with insomnia.

  19. I start things often but don't finish them.

  20. I was a fidgety kid.

Section 2.

  1. My eyes are sensitive to the sun.

  2. I have a medium build.

  3. I have a strong appetite.

  4. I hate wasting time.

  5. I love to learn new things.

  6. I plan my days and like to follow an agenda.

  7. I am prone to acid reflux/indigestion.

  8. People say im stubborn.

  9. Im precise and orderly.

  10. I like to see things on their proper place.

  11. I wonder in conflict why people can't see things my way.

  12. If i don't eat on time i get cranky.

  13. I love spending time outdoors.

  14. Im often too warm indoors.

  15. My skin regularly breaks out into rash, hives or i have red blotchy skin.

  16. My stool tends to be loose, i have more than one per day.

  17. I am quick to anger, but get over it quickly.

  18. People say im intense.

  19. Spicy food upsets my stomach.

  20. I am very determined when i decide i want something.

Section 3.

  1. I'm big Boned

  2. I walk slowly, I don't like to feel rushed.

  3. I am stressed out but don't deal with my issues.

  4. I eat slowly. I'm usually the last one finished.

  5. It takes me a bit to learn something but I never forget it!

  6. I look at cake and gain 10 pounds.

  7. I love to cuddle on the couch and read or watch tv for hours without moving.

  8. I love to sleep. I don't consider myself a morning person.

  9. I feel heavy after meals, my digestion is slow.

  10. I'd rather watch sports than do sports.

  11. In conflict I hide and hope it goes away.

  12. If there is food, i want to eat it.

  13. I need at least 8 hours of sleep to feel good the next day.

  14. I dislike cool and damp weather.

  15. I think i have seasonal affective disorder.

  16. I don't like change.

  17. Im affectionate and a good listener.

  18. I struggle with allergies and excess mucus.

  19. I struggle with weight.

  20. Im slow and methodical.

Section 1 score _______ Vata

Section 2 score _______ Pitta

Section 3 score _______ Kapha

Determine which is your highest score. If your total is 85 or more in any one type you are likely a single dosha type. It is also possible to be a two dosha type if your second highest score is very close to your highest. It is very rare to be a tri dosha type, occurring when you have an equal score in all three types.

 

 

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Explore the Shadows Within

Explore the Shadows Within

Exploring the Shadows Within...

"To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light." Carl Jung

Feel good mantras and inspiring affirmations are abundant in the world of yoga, but its not often that we focus on the not so pretty sides of ourselves. However, it is when we have the courage to face ourselves wholly, invite in all parts of ourselves, to love our darkness as much as our light, that we will begin to understand the full practice of yoga.

As children, we were often afraid of the dark. Scary monsters that lived under the bed, in the closet, outside our window, we were fearful of what we could not see. With the flip of a light switch, our fear would dissipate and we would see that the big bad monsters we imagined were just that, imaginary.  As adults, we still fear the big bad monsters, only now they don't live in the darkness around us, but instead, in the deep, dark crevices of our mind.

Coined by philosopher Carl Jung, the shadow self consists of whatever we deem evil, inferior, unacceptable or "bad" typically associated with emotions such as anger, envy, greed, lust or rage. We keep these thoughts deep in the dark side of our minds, obscured from our everyday consciousness. Most us us spend our entire lifetime running away from, avoiding, resisting, denying, and repressing this side of ourselves, afraid of what lies in the shadows. 

Over time, this denial has blurred into our own understanding of ourselves. Guilt and shame keep up from being open and honest about the not so pretty parts of ourselves that we spend so much of our lives trying to hide from others. The tragic thing is, we have lost touch with ourselves and giving ourselves permission to acknowledge and accept our dark side. 

When repressed, our shadows can grow darker and manifest in unconscious and self-destructive ways. Depression, addiction, angry outbursts, deep set anger & resentment are just a few ways that this dark side repression can manifest in our everyday lives. Like being possessed by a demon, in some cases of extreme repression, our dark side can take over and lead us to cause harm to ourselves and others. While the automatic reaction is to run from these not so pretty outbursts, the only way to truly move past them is to journey through instead of away. Learning to sit with and find comfort in the shadows is the only way for us to break through and find the place of balance and joy.

Exploring our dark side is not comfortable or easy, but it is an inevitable journey along the path to spiritual awakening and enlightenment.  Much like flipping on the physical light switch, when we turn our awareness toward our shadow side and learn to sit with our inner darkness, we discover that these dark places are not such a bad and scary place at all. 

I am so excited to offer a unique opportunity to celebrate of the season of shadows by celebrating and exploring the darkness within.. Join me tonight as we are tuning off the lights to for a meditative practice in the darkness as my dear friend Adam Tutor provides a soulful soundtrack to evoke the senses and inspire you to investigate your inner landscape. Through the shadows, we will find our light. Hallo-OM-week Flow: Exploring the Shadows take place tonight from 7:00 - 8:30pm at 1221 Broadway on the 5th floor parking garage. $15 Drop-in or Class Pass.