Aligning with Grace

As I approach the end of another teaching session in my yoga classes, I end the same way I have begun every session - by inviting my students to align with grace.

The First Universal Principle of Alignment in Anusara Yoga is to: "open to grace" - or to the universal. We open to something good and we respond by softening in our bodies - so that we can receive the gifts of that opening.

I often tell my students, that the operative word - is opening. We cannot invite change and transformation in our lives if we do not open - if we are not receptive first. This opening implies a vulnerability at some level because we have to cultivate the attitude of allowing whatever must be - to be - but we must also cultivate the art of accepting whatever comes into our lives as well, and trust that the Divine in His Infinite Wisdom and the Universe know what is best for us. This is what I call Faith.

I can think of no other practice or style of yoga that begins this way. It is a practice that invites us to surrender on the mat, over and over again and to go at times to places inside and outside of ourselves where we did not dream or know we would go.

At the end of each yoga session or term, I marvel at how far my students have come. This week I told them that the whole session - indeed our whole journey together over the years has been about aligning with grace - not just physically - but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as well. We have undertaken this journey together and supported this process of embodying greater alignment in community.

Now, at the end of another session, I am moved and honored by the beauty and the poetry of my student's yoga. It is truly a meditation in motion. They dive into their infinite internal reservoir and shine their deepest essence with grace.

I am honored and blessed to be part of such a journey. It has been a wonderful gift in my life to see my students throughout the years literally embody in heart, mind, and soul, one of my favorite verses by Rumi:

The whole Universe
is inside of you.
Ask all --
from yourself!

This is what I have sought to convey to my students. Nothing more - and nothing less.


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