Musings on the Practice of Yoga, the Season, and Divine Love

After a week of being home bound by the snow, it was good to get back into some semblance of a normal schedule...

I knew that my morning yoginis were probably in need of a well rounded class after a week of shoveling, tending to families and kids at home, and probably sitting around a little too much!

Every Anusara Yoga class begins with a theme and a sequence that somehow relates to the theme and that is carried throughout the class. This week, I chose to have my students face each other as we all practiced together, enjoying a potpourri class of asanas with a shared dialogue on the theme: "What does yoga mean to you?" I borrowed the idea from the Seane Corn essay that I shared a few days ago on this blog.

Over the course of the last couple of days, it has been interesting to see what has been shared as we held some challenging poses, and worked on aligning deeply. I noted, that often, what brings you to a yoga class, is not what keeps you there over the long run. Over time, you may notice subtle or measurable differences in your attitude, outlook, and the degree of patience or compassion you might exhibit or may be capable of.

One student reminded me that sometimes what brings one to class - is exactly what keeps one there - except that there is a deeper and more nuanced understanding of this reason. It was fun to practice together and share our insights and just generally participate in moving mindfully with our breath...

I began and ended class by re-reading excerpts from Seane's essay, and invited my students to further reflect upon and explore what yoga means to them - and why they keep coming back to it. One very beautiful student wrote back later to share her personal journey with yoga, which is indeed, so touching and inspirational!

My beautiful garden of yoginis - which I meet both morning and evenings during the course of the week, are all exquisite blossoms to me. They truly, reflect the Divine for me. And it so happens, that the selections from Paramahansa Yogananda's Spiritual Diary right now, all deal with Divine Love.

As we begin this season of Lent - which is for me - all about spiritual transformation and deepening one's relationship with the Divine - take a moment to reflect on something that does this for you - whether it be the practice of yoga, enjoying the company of friends, a walk outside in nature, or whatever that may be for you...

"He is the nearest of the near,
the dearest of the dear.
Love Him as a miser loves money,
as an ardent man loves his sweetheart,
as a drowning person loves breath.
When you yearn for God with intensity,
He will come to you."
~ Yogananda

"Our love is the one thing God does not possess,
unless we choose to bestow it.
So you see, even the Lord has something to attain:
our love. And we shall never be happy until we give it."
~ Yogananda

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