All Posts from May, 2010

Yoga without Movement

May 27th, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Yoga is a daily practice and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve movement.  The term yoga means “union” and that union is that of the mind, body and breath. That doesn’t have to happen through Asanas. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the foundational text of yoga, very much speaks to some of the more internal movements, like breathing and meditation. For instance, the sutras speak about the eight limbs of Raja Yoga which include, amongst other things,  Ahimsa meaning non-violence in act or thought, Satya which means truth in word and thought and Pranayama which refers to the control of the breath. None of these involve asanas, no downward facing dog, no warrrior, no pigeon. Yoga is as much about the mind as it is about the body, in fact maybe even more so. One of the focuses on yoga is liberation, from the binding thoughts of our minds and the movement is another means to access that. When our muscles are stretched, we let go of something, a shift happens, and it may not seem immediate but with a commitment to practicing on and off the mat, that freedom is inevitably felt.

BKS Iyengar once said:

“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity.  This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization.  Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul.  Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”

But maybe one of my favorite quotes about yoga and an important reminder is:

“Don’t just do something - sit there!”

Weekends at Bernal

May 4th, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I have realized that there is a potency to practicing  yoga a few days in a row. Somehow the muscles in the body seems to have a stronger memory and poses become more fluid, tried and true poses like Warrior Two and Bridge.

However, beyond the fluidity of asanas is the community feel that is established. Having been going to Bernal for a few months now, I can surely say that it has expanded my community. And yoga is a practice that goes far beyond physical execution and rests in a much deeper place, a place of connectedness and understanding.

This weekend, I sensed that completely as I practiced amongst fellow Bernal yogis. We laughed at the jokes KT would make, like when she spoke of her doppelganger who sells bagels in Virginia. We also shared in a sense of accomplishment when Megan asked us to hold crescent with our back leg bent deeply, feeling the communal burn in our thighs and supporting each other through it.

Community may be one of the most important ingredients to happiness. All studies show, beyond money, beyond possessions, it is our social relationships that bring us joy and make us who we are.