Wanderlust: Welcome Home

Posted by admin on 7/28/12 in Uncategorized

By Trish Pietrzak

We come to Wanderlust for a variety of reasons, for me I come to be part of something remarkable.  I come for the opportunity to be among people who practice yoga, who live their yoga; I come for the opportunity to learn, to expand and explore from the wisdom and practice of others; I come so I can let go, truly empty out and create lightness; I come to surrender to the power of yoga, to just BE. 

Welcome Home ~ Thursday July 26, 2012

Lay flat on your back…check!  Stretch your arms overhead….check! Legs long…check!Breathe in and out through the nose….check!  Relax my jaw? Hang on…..ok mind, relax….relax….relax….r e l a x…. r  e  l  a  x …..aahhh…..there we go, check!

So what is the purpose behind yoga? Why do I practice yoga? What keeps brining me back to my mat?  Is it all about the physical practice, or do I desire more?  Something deep  from within? I spent my early afternoon with Pradeep Teotia in his Peaceful Warrior class and he showed me that awareness is what yoga is all about.  I sat on my mat and listened to this contemporary yogi as he shared  his wisdom on yoga….what it is and what it is not. It is not something that can be claimed or owned, it cannot be something that brings about judgment or jealousy, and it is not something that will bring about enlightenment…because, really, what is that anyways but the truest sense of awareness. And when you bring awareness to the mind, it calms and quiets the mind bringing about that beautiful state of samadhi. Ok, true enough.

He continues and reminds us that all of the yoga poses we do will lead to meditation, (and we have over 84,000 poses to choose from), it is then you will begin to understand your own mind which will then lead to understanding yoga. Yoga does not want to change you, it want you to pay attention. Yoga is simple, it is ancient, it is a gift; yet we have turned yoga into a competition, into the idea that my yoga is better than your yoga. We have taken something simple and turned it into something complicated. Yoga is the science of health, creating a simpler, healthier and happy life.

714 Photo by Trish Pietrzak

Just when I think I can sit all afternoon listening to Pradeep, we are told to get into Child’s pose. A simple and basic Child’s pose, and it feels good. He reminds us that yoga does not need to be complicated; if fact life as you know it won’t change if you bring a leg behind your head!  “Tuck the toes,  Down Dog, Plank, Cobra, and back to Down Dog. Hold for 3 breaths.” “How about a low lunge and a twist,” he asks as if he was offering us a cocktails at happy hour .

Then again, stretching deeper, breathing deeper, holding longer. He asks us to feel the happiness that comes from connecting to our heart. He asks us to let go of the obsession with our bodies and be happy with our physical form so we may find true happiness.

Yoga says pay attention today – to this moment, as this is the only thing that is real. No one can take this away from you, ever! Keep it simple. Listen from the inside and question what you want from this life! Make human connections often. How do we get peace through yoga? By letting go.

So next time you step on your mat, bring awareness to what your body and mind are doing, what it is feeling. Honor the space between the pose, between the breath. And bring  yourself home.

Welcome Home, my friend, Welcome Home.

715 Photo by Trish Pietrzak

Healing Circle w/ Sianna Sherman ~ Friday July 27, 2012

719 Photo cby Chris Calarco

As I did not have any classes prescheduled today, I chose to practice with one of my favorite teachers, Sianna Sherman participating in her Healing Yoga Workshop.  As many of you know, the Anusara community has faced tremendous challenges with their leadership over the past several months, which also affected the Anusara presence at all the Wanderlust festivals this year. In her beautiful state of grace and eloquent manner of speaking, Sianna gathered all of us to the front of the room and reminded us that we are a blessing to this Earth. And that no matter what happens around you or to you, you are greatness. We broke into small groups of students to help with the healing process, sharing our feelings and listening with compassion and letting go of judgement. This was a starting point, a place where we were vulnerable but completely safe in releasing what needed letting go. 

717 Photo cby Chris Calarco

When I moved to my mat for some asana practice, the joy of stretching up and down between Mountain pose and forward folds felt delicious. My body responded to the deepening of breath and my muscles lengthen as if they were awakened from a long sleep. The class was instructed by Sianna and her team of teachers, and each one of them brought forth the same message: Surrender….. Surrender to the knowledge that although we do not know what may come, we do know that we can breathe into the journey. And as we gathered into a circle to close our class, we spent time looking into the eyes of other students who shared our space, we placed our left hand on our own heart and our right over their heart and we looked past the eyes to the soul that connects us together.  It was truly a beautiful way to begin my day.

718 Photo cby Chris Calarco

Tags: California, pradeep teotia, sianna sherman, squaw, WLCA, Yoga

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