This last week, I was inspired by the idea of thermal columns and up draughts and how there is a wonderful analogy at play with yoga and life. Thermal columns are upward flows of gases that have been warmed near the ground's surface. These up draughts carry powerful energy that some species of birds readily take advantage of. By flying into these thermal columns and opening their wing span with ease, these birds get carried into the atmosphere to staggering heights. This passage of elevation mimics so much of how we can experience life.
In just a few weeks, New Year's will be upon us with a wave of 'challenges' being tossed at us left, right and center including for our yoga practices. As wikipedia defines, "A challenge is a general term referring to things that are imbued with a sense of difficulty and victory". The concept of 'difficulty' doesn't resonate much of a positive tone, does it? When achieving some state of victory, then what? Now that I can put my foot suddenly behind my head, am I suddenly that much more closer to enlightenment? Rather than integrating this concept of overcoming 'difficulty', would we not be better served to approach our practice with a sense of opportunity instead?
There has been much hype about some recent marketing attempts by higher profile yoga teachers lately with respect to the use of 'Yoga for Weight Loss' as a branding tool or theme. I thought I would pipe into this conversation briefly with a little perspective on both sides of the debate.
Our Hatha Yoga classes and Meditation practices are valuable tools for countering the barrage of negative energies and stressors presented by the world. Most people live with constant echos of stress vibrating through the nervous system leading to chronic disease. Our nervous system has two main pathways that automatically run the functions of the body.