Atha Yoga Anushasanam
In this very moment – we enter the path of yoga and the journey unfolds before us.
As the practice of yoga takes hold, life begins to come into focus.
The darkness dissipates and we see ourselves, maybe for the first time, in this new light.
We are waking up.
It is difficult to predict or explain exactly how this asana practice of Ashtanga Yoga begins to illuminate our consciousness.
We begin to comprehend, at a cellular level, that yoga is more then just a physical or mental exercise… it is the very heartbeat of our existence.
This practice finds us wherever we are -- As we Are.
Like many, it found me both broken and searching, and yet, somehow completely unaware of my own condition.
It took hold of my mind and the inner work commenced.
Guruji said, “yoga is mind medicine” .
Once you step into it… There is no telling where this path will lead…
It is an experiment of Self-Discovery.
For it is through your own effort alone – touched by Grace -- that the fruit of illumination ripens and yield results. This will not happen immediately.
Keep up your practice.
Yoga does not promise a life without hardship, struggle, sorrow, or pain.
But it gives us the ability to keep the mind steady under every kind of circumstance, success or failure.
During times of personal distress, this practice has always given me back to myself.
Again and again, it returns, restores, and resets my focus to an immoveable center… It fosters healing.
Through the daily practice of asana, we witness the synthesis of gentleness with strength, fluidity with firmness, breath with body.
We cultivate courage… learning where and how to resist, and also ways to soften and surrender.
The balance of Sthira and Sukha – Effort and Ease.
The Vinyasa teaches us to connect with the sensation of flow, and we encounter the eternal puzzle of how stillness can be imbedded within movement.
Absorbed into the space between the pulse that creates the rhythm.
This Practice has woven the gift of ritual back into my life.
It provides a method for cultivating awareness.
It sanctifies the mundane on a daily basis, leaving traces of joy in its place.
As the practice changes us, we in-turn, begin to shift our landscape.
The world around us transforms because we are seeing it with new eyes.
There is the saying, “God is an intelligible sphere whose circumference is everywhere and whose center is nowhere.”
The divine can be found in any moment because consciousness is within and always present wherever YOU are.
Waking up is realizing that the very thing we were looking for is that which is doing the looking.
In the Silence I heard a prayer.
In the Stillness I saw the dynamic source of life laughing.
And like each new day… the cycle begins again.
Harmony Slater first journeyed to Mysore in 2004 to study with the Jois family. She first received Authorization to teach this method in 2006, directly from Sri. K Pattabhi Jois, and nine years later received Certification from R. Sharath Jois. She is one of less than 20 women in the world to hold this honor.
Harmony is a strong presence in the Ashtanga community worldwide. She founded two Yoga Schools in Canada, and in addition to her teaching, she has shared her experiences with the practice, pregnancy and childbirth in the books: Yoga Sadhana for Mothers and Strength and Grace: A collection of Essays by Women of Ashtanga Yoga. She has a wealth of knowledge to offer students, and openly shares her insights about experiencing the full integration of Ashtanga Yoga during her workshops around the world.