Friday, April 22, 2005

The Springtime of Yoga Practice

I was in the car yesterday when I heard someone commenting on the radio about the Opera. While describing the winter scene in La Boheme in which Mimi and Rodolfo, torn by the wonders and troubles of intense love, are debating their own romantic demise, I could hear in the background the singers belting it out in Italian.

In the dead of winter they were describing vividly the beauty of the arrival of Spring. While I'd be inclined to just say "Spring has sprung," they said, " [w]hen the flowers bloom in Spring,we'll have the sun as our companion!" "The chattering of the fountains in the gentle evening breezes...spreads a healing balm on human suffering."

Spring is here. While Pucini can say it better, I'll just say, "it is so beautiful." Did you see the pictures on the news of the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC? Amazing!

What I liked about the scene from La Boheme was its example that we have an amazing ability to participate in the beauty of spring, even in the coldest darkest times of winter.

It's just as true, however, that at this glorious time of year we can use our attitudes and intentions to sink deep into the dark cold depression of winter, if we choose.

Every time you begin a yoga posture or a yoga practice session you have the opportunity to declare an intention.

Escpecially when you've been practicing a particular pose for a long time, I see a tendency to become jaded. You start the pose, not anticipating a breakthrough, but resigning to a present moment that's just like the past.

One of the gifts of Anusara yoga is what John Friend has called "the Three A's of Anusara": attitude, alignment, and action. The first principle is attitude!

You can start your asana with resignation, or as John suggests, you can be open to Grace. You can begin each practice anticipating Divine intervention. It's like imagining the beauty of spring in the dead of winter.

How do you open to Grace? Try dedicating your practice to a higher purpose. For example, "I dedicate this practice to the memory of my Grandmother who loved me and cared for me selflessly."

Or begin your practice by considering a list of everything for which you are grateful. Count your blessings.

Or simply begin each pose with the mindful habit of hopeful expectation! I wonder what incredible experience this pose holds for me?

The feelings and emotions you invest in your practice transform dreary exercise into rewarding and refreshing adventure.

Mimi and Rodolfo could experience what we have now, the intense beauty of spring, on a winter roof-top. You can, too!

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., find out more about Anusara yoga at And if you want to read the libretto from La Boheme, Act III, click here.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved by Mo Yoga LLC.


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