It Is What It Is

MONDAY MANTRA: It is what it is, but it will be what you make it.

Our minds are constantly labeling our experiences as good or bad–this is human nature. But what would happen if we simply accepted experiences as they are, instead of judging them? This is the true purpose of yoga. Learning to still the mind so that we can find freedom in how we feel, how we think, and how we move. When we let go of judgement, and embrace what is, we realize that we already have everything we need to be happy.

Seek The Truth Relentlessly

Happy Friday! Your mission this weekend, should you choose to accept it, is to practice satya.

The word satya means truthfulness, but it’s meaning is further reaching than it seems. Truthfulness in word, thought, and deed requires resiliency and faith. By practicing satya, we learn to surrender our plans, so that we may have what we really want the most.

Make satya your mantra this weekend. When you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or sad, ask yourself what is really going on. Is the reaction founded in truth?

We all have stories about who we are, and what we can or can’t do. We cling to them, because we believe they keep us afloat. More often than not, however, they drag us down.

Don’t let the story stand between you and what you might become. Seek the truth relentlessly, and do what must be done. You can do really hard things! Allow yourself to be vulnerable, and know that what you want most is waiting for you, on the other side of satya. ॐImage

photo: suepatterson.wordpresss.com

Time Matters

1391767_485484761558997_1565215455_nYoga playtime with the girlies

Did y’all hear that a little snow brought our city to a standstill last month? I was one of the thousands of people that were stuck on the road for most of the day. It took me 7 hours to travel 13 miles. Lucky for me, the gas tank was full, and I had snacks on hand, so it was not as much of an ordeal as it could have been.

Even so, it was pretty stressful to be stuck in the car for hours on end.

My journey began at 1 PM, just after the snow started. By 7 PM, I was still 3 miles from home, and really thirsty, so I stopped to buy water at Walgreens.

The store was empty, but for 3 or 4 people and a single clerk. Shoppers were quick to pick out their items, and hop in the check out line–everybody wanted to get home as soon as possible. As I paid for my water, the man waiting behind me placed a 6 pack of Milwaukee’s Best, and two bottles of red wine on the counter. Another man walked up after him, and they struck up a conversation.

“You’ve got the right idea, buddy! Stocking up for a long day tomorrow.”

It struck me as so funny, because I had been thinking along very different lines. Sitting in the car for hours on end had stiffened up all of my muscles, and my joints ached where I had broken bones many years ago. I was not thinking about getting my drink on at all…instead, I was giddy at the prospect of having an entire day at home to stretch, flow, practice arm balances, and cook healing foods.

As they say, to each his own…

But I wonder what would have happened if I had encouraged my fellow shoppers to think differently about how they spent their snow day. This crazy healthy life has taught me that time is our most valuable asset, and we must spend it wisely. Every day is an opportunity to do better, and to be better. It’s all cumulative.

So, with this in mind, I thought I’d share what we are looking forward to doing, while we are trapped in the house:

1) Learning how to cook healthy foods. The girls are learning to roast veggies, make green juices, sauté fruit, and make spiced nuts. This means our kitchen will be a big fat mess for the next few days, but it’s a price I am willing to pay. Let the dishes pile up…we’ll all be better off for it in the end!

2) Memorizing Sun Saluation B. They girls have been practicing yoga with me for a while, but our practices are more whimsical and silly, than organized. Helping them learn Sun Salutation B will teach them how to wrap structure around their personal practice. And maybe, just maybe, they will even teach their friends! We play dance music to make the experience fun, and crack lots of jokes, so it feels more like a game than a chore.

3) Talking about how yoga philosophy complements our Christian faith. I have been reading snippets of Patnajali’s Yoga Sutras to the girls for the past few weeks, and it’s started some really important conversations about their friendships, their goals, and their personal habits. Concepts like ahimsa (non-harming) help them understand to choose their words and behavior carefully, santosha (contentment) teaches them to be grateful for their blessings, and bramacharya (non-excess) teaches them the importance of everything in moderation.

These are just a few of the crazy, but healthy ways we will spend our icy days at home. I think it’s some of the best things we can do for our kids right now, because, as Andy Stanley recently said, “In the areas that matter most, you can’t make up misspent time.”

Truthfully, part of me wants to park the kids in front of the TV, and curl up in bed with a good book. Mama could use a day off, now and then, too. But I won’t. Because time matters, and those of us in the Deep South have been given the gift of a whole lotta extra time to kill this week…and my crazy healthy family is going to make the best of it.

 

The 6th Discipline of Yoga: Where Meditation Begins


Believe it or not, I was in a sorority when I was in college. I proudly wore the wine and silver blue, and chanted the Pi Beta Phi creed, every monday night at Chapter Dinner:

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.”

I didn’t go to church when while I was away at school, so chanting these words from Philippians was the closest I got to scripture during four of the most transformative years of my life. I’d like to say that this weekly reminder to think virtuous thoughts kept me honest, but like most people, I had more than a few ungodly moments in my college days.

Now that I know what I know about dharana, the sixth limb of yoga, I wish had taken these words to heart during those years, and actually spent time contemplating what was virtuous, and what was worthy of praise, and less time losing my soul at mixers and keg parties.

The word dharana means concentration. It is the act of focusing our mind on a word, or a set of words, that we would like to absorb into our soul, in preparation for connecting with God. We practice it in savasana or seated meditation, and it really is as simple as it sounds. We tune out the world around us, and focus our minds on the mantra we have chosen to meditate upon.

Dharana is where meditation begins, and where a lot of confusion arises about whether Christians should practice yoga at all. Yoga arose from Hindu and Buddhist traditions, so it is true that dharana was originally practiced by chanting verses from eastern scriptures. But that was then, and this is now, and other religions have explored yoga as a practice that deepens relationships with God. Personally, I don’t see any reason why dharana cannot be a Christian practice.

Words are just words, and they don’t actually mean anything until we associate a meaning with them. God knows our hearts, and by focusing our mind on His words, such as peace, love, forgiveness, and salvation, we draw closer to Him.

Perhaps more importantly, I believe, with all my heart, that God wants us to practice dharana. He gave us beautiful psalms, and insightful parables, and timeless wisdom. Why wouldn’t He be thrilled if we chose to dedicate time each day to think on these things? They are powerful, and we honor Him by purposefully focusing on His guidance through the fifth limb of yoga, dhrarana.

Namaste,

Amber

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Photo: jimmiescollage.com

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The 5th Discipline Of Yoga: Making Space For My Soul

Sometimes it feels like my brain is broken. Like there is a disconnect between what I know I should do, and actually doing it. And between what I should think, and what I actually think. For example, last night I promised ZiZi that I would wash her school t-shirt, so she could wear it on today’s field trip to the zoo. I left in in the middle of the hallway, so I wouldn’t forget.

I walked around that bright red shirt twenty times before I went to bed, yet I still forgot to wash it. Because my brain is broken. And because my brain is broken, my 8 year old went on a field trip to the zoo in a shirt stained with last week’s peanut butter. And in my broken brain, I am thinking that the chaperones on the field trip, parents that I see all the time, must think that I am the worst mom ever.

I know I they probably don’t think that, and that dirty laundry does not make me a bad mom, but I do think this way sometimes. Thankfully, I have confirmed that I am not the only one with a broken brain, and other people also have these feelings from time to time.

The good news is that there is a remedy for broken brain syndrome.  All we have to do is create a little space between what the world thinks we should be, and who we really are.

This is what the fifth limb (discipline) of yoga, pratyahara, is all about. The word pratyahara is sanskrit for “withdrawal”, and the practice of pratyahara teaches us how to create space between ourselves and our attachments to the relentless chatter of the world. It makes us aware of the stories circulating around us, and opens us to the possibility that some of them are not true.

Pratyahara is difficult to explain, if you have not experienced it before.  It’s more of a belief, and a feeling, than something we do. When we believe that we can quiet our minds, we make it possible to tune out the chatter that separates us from God.

It’s that thing that happens in savasana, when you forget that there are other people in the room. You know that you are physically there, but you are not there. You are floating in space, and it feels free, and nothing else matters besides staying in that space where you are neither here nor there. Just like any other discipline, pratyahara becomes more rewarding, the more frequently we practice it.

Knowing how to create this space between us and the world is especially helpful, as we navigate the messy details of our busy lives. Like when I gave birth to three children in 39 months, and they were all in diapers at the same time. My days were a blur of bottles, music classes, homemade baby food, and Baby Einstein.

I wanted to be the perfect mom, but when you have three tiny humans that are totally dependent on you, it is impossible to be perfect! Somebody was always crying, I was on sensory overload, and my broken brain couldn’t figure out which way was up. People were quick to give me the stink eye if my babies cried at the store, even though I was clearly outnumbered. Strangers gave me breastfeeding advice, as if it was something I couldn’t figure out on my own. It was all so overwhelming, and withdrawal from the chatter was the only way I could begin make sense of the chaos.

When I needed a break, I would strap the girls into whatever bouncy seat or johnny jumper would hold them safely for a few minutes, and stretch on the floor, while they watched Dora. If my husband was home, I would escape to the basement and meditate. And, when I was lucky enough to have a sitter, I would find a yoga class and get my pratyahara on in public.

Little by little, I chose to make space for my soul. I learned to recognize the difference between what was essential, and what was not, and got really good at saying “no” to anything, and anyone, that might make me feel less than enough. I realized that I don’t have to be everything to everyone, and sometimes “no” is the right answer for me, even if it’s not what other people want to hear.

My kids are older now, somehow things are even busier, and my brain feels just as broken as it did when they were babies. I kinda doubt that my brain will every get fully unbroken, at least not as long as we still have kids in the house. But it does find peace when I practice yoga, and it’s good to know that peace will always be there for me, as long as I remember to make space for my soul.

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The 4th Discipline of Yoga: Just Breathe

just_breathe_by_xhypnotizeWhat are the two words we hear most often, when we are in pain? When we can’t stop crying, when we are overly anxious, or we just can’t seem to get our act together?

Just breathe. 

And it works, every time, doesn’t it? Controlling our breath balances our autonomic nervous system and removes toxins from our bodies. This is why a few deep breaths can drastically change how we feel.

The fourth limb (discipline) of yoga, known as pranayama, teaches us to cultivate awareness of our breathing as much as possible, to improve our concentration, and nourish our bodies with healing energy.

The Yoga Sutras tells us that:

“The fourth of the eight rungs of Yoga is Pranayama, which is regulating the breath so as to make it slow and subtle, leading to the experience of the steady flow of energy (prana), which is beyond or underneath exhalation, inhalation, and the transitions between them.”

The original intent of the discipline of pranayama was to encourage yogis to breathe on purpose.

Breathing is an automatic bodily function, so it’s easy to take it for granted. We forget that the breath can be controlled in ways that greatly improve our quality of life, and make us more available to God. When we breath deeply, our mind clears, and we release energy that is not essential, so our true nature can be revealed.

Like most ancient beliefs, the interpretation of pranayama has evolved over time. Ptanajali’s original idea of controlling the breath has inspired yogis to create dozens of specific, controlled, breathing practices that now also fall under the umbrella of “pranayama”. You have probably heard of some of them, such as ujayi, bhakti, and alternate nostril breathing.

While I love to get my bhakti breath on, when it comes to The Eight Limbs, I define pranayama as it was originally intended: observation of the breath.

When we pay attention to our breathing, we notice things about ourselves that we would otherwise miss. We become aware that we hold our breath when we are stressed, that our inhales are shorter than our exhales, or that we clench our stomachs and block the breath, when we are mad. Awareness is the first step in fixing unhealthy breathing habits that inhibit our health, our mind, and our spirit.

Paying attention to my breath has made a huge difference in my daily stress levels. It’s empowering to know that, no matter how chaotic my day might get, I can keep calm and carry on, by drawing awareness to my breath. A few deep inhales and exhales helps me think more clearly and put things in perspective.

What I love most about the lessons of The Eight Limbs, and especially pranayama, is that the disciplines described are universal. No one is excluded, and everyone benefits. And we can practice them anywhere, and everywhere we go.

We’re halfway through this series of posts about The Eight Limbs of Yoga. I hope you have found these discussions helpful. Have you practiced one or more of the first Four Limbs this week? What have you noticed?

Namaste,

Amber

Photo:deviantart.net

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The 2nd Discipline of Yoga: Respect Yourself

The second limb of yoga, the Niyamas, is essential for yogis, and everyone who aspires to live a crazy healthy life:

Saucha, the first niyama, teaches about the importance of cleanliness. It is easy to think of this as a directive to shower before and after yoga practice, and keep your practice space clean and organized. At a deeper level, however, saucha teaches us to organize our emotional and spiritual energies, separating those that serve us from those that do not.

Santosha teaches us to cultivate contentment in our lives. When we accept life as it is today, we realize that we are already happy. There is no thing that will make us happy, because happiness is what we are inside. By practicing santosha, we give power to this happiness, so it can shine through, and illuminate our lives.

Tapas literally means “to generate heat”. We create heat in our lives through physical, spiritual, and emotional disciplines. It is the friction of the disciplines that help us strip away what is unnecessary. The heat of tapas burns away the heaviness that covers up our happiness. Personally, tapas has helped me learn to love my home practice as much as I love to take classes.

Svadhaya teaches the importance of self-study. This Niyama teaches us to practice awareness of ourselves, so that we might draw closer to God. It also helps us refine who we are, and what we do. Svadhaya has become increasingly important, as I strive to write something meaningful about yoga each day. The more I study what yoga means to me, the better I can share the benefits of yoga with you in this blog, and with my students in class.

Ishvara Pranidhana is the relentless pursuit of relationship with God. It teaches us to let go of our ego (specifically, what we want from life) and give our heart, mind, and body to God. It can be incredibly uncomfortable at first, because it forces us to surrender our wishes, so that we might honor God’s desires. That can be really really hard. Over time, however, ishvara pranidhana becomes a more comfortable way of living, because it reveals our connection to the world around us, and reminds us that we don’t have to go it alone.

Personally, I don’t think it is possible to practice real yoga without the niyamas. I tried it in the beginning of my yogic journey, and it always felt like something was missing. The niyamas helped me make more sense of my asana practice. They also make me feel more purposeful when I meet my mat, and that makes me really happy.

 

Namaste~

Amber

design2a22Photo: eveyoga.com

How I Got Into Yoga

Fifteen years ago this month, I had just returned to my marketing job at MCI Telecommunications, after taking four months off to recover from a traumatic car crash. I sustained a dozen broken bones in the crash, and had to learn how to walk again with a broken neck and broken pelvic bone. It was, by far, the most physically, and emotionally, painful four months of my life.

My physical therapist suggested that yoga might help me manage chronic pain, caused by scar tissue around my broken bones. I had heard that there were yoga classes at our gym, so I decided to check it out.

The instructor was a beautiful woman named Joy. My mother, who had passed away the year before, had also been named Joy, so I thought it was a sign that I was on the right path.

Joy was 40 at the time, but she looked 30. She was stunning, and flexible, and fit, and everything about her glowed. I remember thinking that I wanted to be just like her.

Joy taught the exact same hatha yoga sequence at every class, which I found extremely helpful as a beginner. I knew what to expect in her classes, which eased some of my initial anxiety. It also helped me remember how to practice on my own, between classes.

I fell head over heels in love with yoga during that first month of classes, and found myself wanting more. Joy recommended the book Power Yoga by Beryl Bender Birch, and a friend suggested I check out “Inhale with Steve Ross”, on Oprah’s Oxygen Network. I also discovered a fabulous magazine called Yoga Journal, that I read cover to cover, as soon as it arrived each month.

This is how I “got into yoga.” I took one class a week with Joy, practiced with Steve Ross at 6 AM (and sometimes on VHS tape) three or four days a week, subscribed to Yoga Journal, and read Power Yoga, in my free time.

It might sound like a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. It was simply a shift in how I spent my free time. And the more I practiced, the less it felt like an obligation, and the more it made me want to adopt a yogic lifestyle.

Back then, we did not have National Yoga Month, but now we do. And because National Yoga Month was created to raise awareness about yoga, I would like to encourage you to consider what you might shift, to make more room in your life for yoga.

No matter how busy we are, we can always find time to practice at least a little yoga each day. The hardest part is making the commitment. Once yoga becomes one of your daily non-negotiables, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Also, as far as I am concerned, fifteen minutes of yoga each day is better than an hour of yoga, three times a week. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you just do something. Yoga will always meet you, exactly where you are.

Below are some of the resources that have helped me over the years. Give them a try, and let me know what you find most helpful in your yogic journey.

Namaste~

Amber

Power Yoga by Beryl Bender Birch

The Yoga Bible

Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste

Happy Yoga by Steve Ross

Power Yoga (videos) by Bryan Kest

Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith

The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali

An Open Heart by The Dalai Lama

Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman (this is not a yoga book, but it does support a yogic diet)

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The 1st Discipline Of Yoga: Thou Shalt Not

As I mentioned in my last post, there are eight specific components that define the practice of yoga:

  1. Yamas–things we should avoid, there are 5 total
  2. Niyamas–things we should cultivate, there are 5 total
  3. Asana–physical postures that strengthen and lengthen the body
  4. Pranayama–breathing techniques that connect the mind, body and spirit
  5. Pratyahara–withdrawal of the senses (tuning attention inward)
  6. Dharana–concentration on a single point of focus
  7. Dhyana–meditation (letting go of concentration to empty the mind)
  8. Samadhi–a feeling of peace, bliss, happiness and/or joy as a result of our practice

I think of the 5 yamas and 5 niyamas as the 10 commandments of yoga, and use them as ethical guidelines for my practice and my life.

Ahimsa is the first of the five yamas. The literal definition of ahimsa is non-violence, but it carries a much deeper meaning than than “thou shalt not kill”. It teaches us that every action and thought has consequences. Harm, violence, and negativity (in any form) separates us from God. Just as we should not harm others, we also should not harm ourselves with negative self-talk, thoughts, or physical injury.

As a new yogi, I assumed that I was pretty good at practicing ahimsa. I had never been violent, or hurt anyone, or myself, on purpose. The more I learned about ahimsa, however, the more I realized that I had been inflicting harm upon myself and others for years, every time I compared myself to others, or thought unkind thoughts about anyone.

Embracing ahimsa taught me to let it go. For good. On my mat, and off. That doesn’t mean I never think harmful things, but practicing ahimsa has made me aware of the thoughts, and helped me release them quickly.

Satya, the second of the yamas, literally means truthfulness. It means that we should always tell the truth, but it also means that we must be honest with ourselves. That we must seek clarity in our interpretation of life.

We all have a life story. And to us, it feels like truth. Sometimes, however, our truth is not completely accurate. Our life story is influenced by the voices of other people in our lives. People who have told us that we are “special”, so we must perform at a higher level than others. Or maybe it is voices that have told us we are “not good enough”.

When we hear these stories often enough, it becomes difficult to separate truth from fiction. Satya teaches us to strip away the layers of our story, so that we can see ourselves with clairty, and live with authenticity.

Asteya is defined as non-stealing or non-cheating. On the surface, asteya sounds a lot like “Thou shalt not steal.” More importantly, however, asteya teaches us that we should not be careless or wasteful. We really do not need much to survive, and everything we have comes to us from God, and belongs to God. Therefore, we should only take what we need and nothing more. This is an especially helpful concept in asana practice, as it reminds us to be aware and intentional, and not push beyond our edge.

Bramacharya teaches us to use our energy appropriately. It is often correlated with chastity or appropriate use of sexual energy, but bramacharya can also mean so much more.  The discipline of bramacharya teaches us to temper our passions and our senses. We each have a limited amount of energy that we can use for God’s purposes, and it is essential that we are mindful of how we share ourselves, in word, thought, and deed.

The final yama, aparigraha is reminds us that greed and jealousy damage our self esteem. We harm ourselves by coveting other’s belongings, friends, and even their yoga poses. Aparigraha reminds us to let go of our attachments to the world, and live a modest lifestyle. Grasping and acquiring feeds our desire for more, while living simply feeds contentment and peace.

It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it? I’ve been studying the yamas for years, and I still find them confusing at times. I’m okay with that, though, because yoga has taught me to enjoy the journey. It’s ok if I don’t have all of the answers right now, as long as I respect the yamas, and do my best to let go and live well.

Namaste~

Amber

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Happy National Yoga Month!

Did you know that September is National Yoga Month?

I never imagined, when I took my first yoga class in September of 1998, that there would ever be a National Yoga Anything. Or that I would someday teach yoga, yet alone write about it.

But here I am, fifteen years later, living my yoga, with a small business, and a blog that is almost a year old. Looking back makes me profoundly grateful for this powerful practice, that transformed my entire life.

At first I thought yoga was just an exercise. That’s what it felt like for the first few years I practiced. But, the more I learned, the more I realized that yoga bled into other areas of my life. Yoga made me happy, and healed my mind, body and spirit, in surprising ways.

In the past fifteen years, yoga has helped me lose weight, get in shape, sleep better, heal my body, eat better, deepen my Christian faith, and live with authenticity and purpose. I love this practice so much, that I find it hard to do it justice with words.

In honor of National Yoga Month, I will post a little insight about yoga every day in September. I hope that sharing my experiences will inspire you, and everyone else who reads this blog, to add a little more yoga to your lives.

Because, I believe, with all my heart, that everyone needs yoga.

It just makes so much sense. To be sure of what we believe, live skillfully, strengthen our muscles, create space in our bodies, quiet our minds, breathe with intention, practice mediation, and connect with God. How could that be anything but good?

When we are born, we arrive straight from God. We are perfect, just the way He made us. As our separation from God increases, and we adapt to life on earth, we lose bits and pieces of our original innocence and completeness. The Eight Limbs (branches) of Yoga teach us how to become whole again, and draw us closer to Him.

The Eight Limbs

The eight limbs of yoga are as follows:

  1. Yama (universal morality)
  2. Niyama (personal observances)
  3. Asana (physical postures)
  4. Pranayama (breathwork)
  5. Pratayahara (control of the senses)
  6. Dharana (concentration and personal awareness)
  7. Dhyana (meditation, for the puspose of seeking God)
  8. Samadhi (oneness with God)

Like most Westerners, I began my practice on the third limb, asana, in a hatha yoga class at a health club. I was lucky that my instructor, Joy, had ten years of experience (which was rare at that time), and did share some pranayama and meditation. But I didn’t really get it. I thought the bhakti breathing was weird, and savasana made me anxious.

I loved the workout, though, so I took a lot of classes at the health club, and practiced with Steve Ross on Oxygen’s Inhale TV Show, when I couldn’t get to the club. It was just exercise to me, for a long time.

Four years went by, before I learned about the eight limbs of yoga. As a committed Christian, I had been afraid to explore yoga philosophy, in the early days of my practice. I had no choice, however, when I decided to become a yoga instructor. I had to embrace all of it.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered.

This awesome yogi named Patanjai was the first to record yoga philosophy, about 2000 years ago. It was one of the first things we learned in my yoga teacher training course in 2002, and it felt like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. Yoga was suddenly more than a workout, and it would soon become a way of life.

It occured to me that I had sort of learned yoga backwards, and wished I had understood the Eight Limbs, before I met my mat.

For those who are new to yoga, I suggest starting at the beginning, with the yamas and the niyamas.

About the Yamas and the Niyamas

The yamas and niyamas are observances that teach us to live skillfully. They are as follows:

The Yamas:

1. Ahimsa (non-violence)

2. Satya (truth)

3. Asteya (non-stealing, or non-cheating)

4. Bramacharya (self-restraint and moderation in all that you do)

5. Aparigraha (non-coveting, non-competitiveness)

The Niyamas:

1. Saucha (purity)

2. Santosha (contentment)

3. Tapas (discipline)

4. Svadhyaya (self-study)

5. Ishawar-pranidhana (surrender to God)

During the five months of my teacher training at Peachtree Yoga Center, we explored the yamas and niyamas, as they relate to yoga practice. I was also participating an intense 36 week Bible study at the time, and would read my Bible during the breaks. It was such an interesting juxtaposition, to study the yamas and niyamas, as I was exploring the Old Testament. I realized that Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, and the authors of the Bible were essentially saying the same thing. Live a righteous life, and be in relationship with God.

I had been afraid that studying yoga would threaten my Christian faith, but it was actually the opposite. After I learned about the yamas and the niyamas, I felt more connected to God on my mat, than I ever had before. I realized that it was vital to use what God gave me, if I hoped to understand my purpose in life. And I learned to focus on how the practice felt, more than how it looked, which made me appreciate yoga so much more.

For those who are new to yoga, it’s ok if you want to start to learn the practice through asana, but the practice will come with more ease, if you spend time considering the yamas and the niyamas before you meet your mat each day. I will talk more about each of the yamas and niymas in future posts, as well as many other of aspects of yoga (there’s so much to share!). Follow this blog, if you have not already, and like My Crazy Healthy Life on Facebook, for yoga and wellness insights and tips.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me!

Namaste,

Amber

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