Charmaline Edmund Arvin, Teacher at TheHotTT
Finding my true self. “The Life You Were Born To Live” by Dan Millman. This book gave me some insights of my own path and purpose of my life. I believe that there is a higher Divine in every one of us. Call it intuition, gut feeling, that soft voice, I call it my higher wisdom. It reaches out to us, sending messages through our dreams, intuitions, and innermost longings. The call of our destiny manifest as our deepest drives and abilities – hidden forces behind our personality. These drives shape our career and our relationships and influences the quality and direction of our life. Finding our lives-purpose enables us to expend our awareness of ourselves and others. The only way I know to tape into that higher wisdom is through Meditation – Stillness and Breath.
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen” Henry David Thoreau.
Jelena Lepesic, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
People I come in contact with and nature inform me of my yoga practice. Becoming aware that everyone and everything is a messenger, is a part of my daily yoga practice. The information that comes may come as verbal or non verbal communication that happens between all life on earth. People act as mirrors reflecting back at me the areas of life that need attention through their speech, movement, moods and actions. If I just pay attention and listen to what they are really saying or doing, I get insight into my own life. Additionally, nature provides me with a pure non-judgemental environment where I receive non-verbal messages by interacting with it through my physical, emotional or deeper spiritual being. These messages may be deliberate or subtle, and vary in meaning and potency. The messages can be anything from being more confident, to having more fun, to being more grateful, as well as some deeper insight into my life.
Leticia Leyva, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
For one, different books based on modern day interpretations of the theology and doctrine of yoga such as the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali or The Bhagavad Gita, a Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley. Also, today social media is a huge source of information with fellow yogis and yoginis posting tutorials for different postures or just pictures of a beautiful pose with inspiring words. Also different blogs by yoga instructors giving instructions or answering questions. Different festivals or workshops promoting different styles of yoga or targeting specific sequences or postures are also a great way to connect and expand your yoga practice. These are all great ways to inform your yoga practice.
Cindy Lunsford, Teacher at TheHotTT
A great deal of things off the mat inform my yoga practice. My japa meditation, my reading of scripture and my ability to find stillness and breath when confronted with the chaos of being a business owner and mother of two are all things that inform my yoga practice on a daily basis. While I own several studios and practice there daily, it is how I handle things outside the studio that seems to reflect my true yogic sensibilities. I find I’m most at peace when I take the time to perform those rituals off my mat…..but with a daily asana practice, two kids and several studios……that can be the most challenging thing of all!!!
Francisco Morales, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
Surroundings are a great way to inform your yoga practice. Practice is connected to how I see things on a daily bases. The inspiration yoga evokes from connection to breath and clarity of mind. If the way I am perceiving my surroundings is a way that doesn’t not serve then I know I need to be more present in my practice.
Monica Shannon, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
Hmmm. This interesting to me because I find that I use my yoga practice in the studio (or my bedroom or my back porch) to inform my yoga practice that the rest of my day really is. But, I guess both forms of yoga practice are interchangeable, right? I find that the events in my life off the mat that show up on my mat, these days, are the matters of the heart. My mother recently passed unexpectedly and I find that my movements on the mat bring up many memories, even though we had no practical connection through a yoga practice. My body is full of memories and my practice stirs them up. I often find myself resistant to practicing yoga as a way to avoid and therefor cope with this big loss in my life. I know that ultimately I will face these issues. My choice is to deal with it now or later, after they’ve festered and been allowed to grow. I find that that philosophical quandary can be applied to my honestly level while dealing with the physical pose. Deal with the pain now, the misalignment now, the lack of breath now, the excuses now or deal with them in later because I have no choice. That’s the manifestation of disease and depression.
Ashley Shochat, Teacher at TheHotTT
Other sports such as rock climbing, running, snowboarding, skating, and weight training are ways to inform your yoga practice outside of a studio. Each sport engages a unique set of muscle groups and breathing patterns. During yoga class these muscles groups and breaths are more readily applicable to postures because I’ve practiced them in sport. My other activities also develop focus and stamina, which are helpful in yoga.
Susan Wyler, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
Most of my practice takes place outside the studio. Forty years ago, Bikram taught me a ninety minute session of asanas, and little pranayama, which have kept me in good habits of mind and body: the more centered we are the more inclined we are to choose centering foods and people and lifestyles. It’s been a long process of healing but a lifetime of gazing at the mirror watching my body flow from one posture to the next, without muscularity or ego, learning to love and not judge myself, has healed trauma in my body. Bikram taught me not to condemn myself, but to keep returning, to take in love and reject everything else. I carry this with me everywhere I go. Will work with this for the rest of my life.
Yoga is not a religion but a science meant to teach letting go, non attachment. Always to return, always to keep striving toward a kind of enlightenment. When I fail, I start in again. When I judge myself or others harshly, I pay attention. I have learned to live life loosely, with the object of doing no harm above all else.