Nov 2018~ SOM Bhakti Yoga and POM Surya Namaskar

Long for it intensely, so that the mind melts in devotion ~ Ramana Maharshi

SOM: Bhakti Yoga, The Yoga of Devotion– Bhakti Yoga manifests in many ways and Kriya Yoga, the Yoga of Action, springs effortlessly from the heart of devotion. To begin to understand devotion, we need to consider what  is precious to us? As practitioners of yoga, we learn that when our longing is rooted in wisdom, serving that longing selflessly in our actions is the path to liberation and oneness. Bhakti Yoga is a path that is strong and fierce, as well as tender and beautiful. It involves the recognition that in the absolute sense, all is indeed love and wholeness, and we honor that in ourselves and others when we touch it. Yet in the limited world of form and duality, the idea that “it’s all good” is not realistic, at least for most beings on the planet, and the planet itself! Through devotion to divine wisdom, or the greatest good, we can find what actions are dharmic, in harmony with consciousness, and which are not. The embodiment of liberated qualities such as compassion, tolerance, courage, and justice is fully possible if we devotedly serve peace, love and understanding until we have the non-conceptual experience that “we are that”. If something that is precious to us is threatened, isn’t it worth showing up again and again to do what we can to protect and increase it? It is the eternal intention in yoga for all beings to be happy, healthy and free from suffering, and it is the power of devotion that fuels  and sustains the movement toward this. We will encourage our hearts, minds, and awareness to be fully open as we explore the many practices and philosophies of Bhakti Yoga this month through chanting, meditations and gratitude.
In gratitude and devotion to our teachers, staff, and community  ~ our continued love through the Holiday season <3 Cathy and Laura
POM:  Surya Namaskar: Half, A and B- As we move through these sun salute series, we can be reminded that the source of these flows were given as teachings by the yogic masters long ago as expressions of devotion by combining movement with mantra and breath to honor a higher power in us. As the modern yoga practice has become more about the physical aspects, the sun salutes hold a unique and sweet balance in serving the needs of the physical and energetic body, providing harmonious opening in both. Remember modifications as needed, especially if shoulder, wrist or low back considerations are needed. Though full sun salutes are not part of our Gentle classes, we can explore with modifications an appropriate flow and many of the elements, such as the standing poses and downward dog. Remember precision and alignment serve your greatest good, no matter how many or few sun salutes you complete. Allow the surrender to breath and inner rhythm to bring you to the sweet place of Bhakti in yourself!

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