The resonance of a personal yoga practice – these teachers give you a glimpse into the silence of their inner world

by Sandra Radja

There is a fire inside me. A bright light exploding and crashing through the forests of my body like a wildfire. It pushes me, it prods me and it breaks me into pieces. Each day I come to my yoga practice to know the wildness, rawness and aliveness of this fire. Some days I feel like I am being burned alive, other days I feel as if I have wrapped myself in a wildland fire shelter . Yoga keeps me in touch with the fire within and helps me to use the flames to digest my experiences instead of being consumed by them. - noah volz (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

There is a fire inside me. A bright light exploding and crashing through the forests of my body like a wildfire. It pushes me, it prods me and it breaks me into pieces. Each day I come to my yoga practice to know the wildness, rawness and aliveness of this fire. Some days I feel like I am being burned alive, other days I feel as if I have wrapped myself in a wildland fire shelter . Yoga keeps me in touch with the fire within and helps me to use the flames to digest my experiences instead of being consumed by them. - noah volz (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

Earth. Water. Fire. Air. Ether. Prana. Mind – from the gross to the most subtle the mind can penetrate all elements in this level playing field of what we call life. Our thought patterns have the ability to shift and change the energy field around us.  If the prana is strong in an individual, for positive or negative, they can influence not only their own organism but others around them.   The power of strength is the subtle element of drishti or focus – hard to hold onto, hard to keep steady but when you can, you can change your world.

Prana can be enhanced by the individual but also by a collective of individuals.   An idea, if propelled by the pulse of the street, can spiral into a movement that can drag you along, if you don’t find yourself in a state of being self sufficient and using your own intuition for what feels right….for you.  Fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a tangible idea. 

Over the last year, 15 million people regularly participated in yoga here in the United States, spending more than $27.0 billion on yoga products. Over the last five years, spending on yoga products has soared 87%. And the average annual increase of the number of people who practice yoga is expanding at a rate of 20%.
— Yoga Statistics,” StatisticBrain.com, July 27, 2013.
Morning Meditation IS MY REGULAR CHECK IN, because inner stillness is the heart song of yoga, just as Asana is the its artistic dance of action.  IT LEADS ME to find what speaks to MY heart. I REMAIN IN TUNE, FOR MY CLIENTS AND FOR MY OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY TO REMAIN AS PRESENT AS I CAN POSSIBLY BE.  - SHARON KAPP (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

Morning Meditation IS MY REGULAR CHECK IN, because inner stillness is the heart song of yoga, just as Asana is the its artistic dance of action.  IT LEADS ME to find what speaks to MY heart. I REMAIN IN TUNE, FOR MY CLIENTS AND FOR MY OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY TO REMAIN AS PRESENT AS I CAN POSSIBLY BE.  - SHARON KAPP (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

Yoga is my rudder, my most effective tool to stay centered no matter what curve balls, intensity or challenges that life throws at me. Yoga has been the portal to deeper self inquiry, and changes in belief and daily habits that support me offering the highest service I can in this life. It has helped me transform the deepest suffering into love. - skyler myers (ayurvedic practitioner /yoga teacher)

Yoga is my rudder, my most effective tool to stay centered no matter what curve balls, intensity or challenges that life throws at me. Yoga has been the portal to deeper self inquiry, and changes in belief and daily habits that support me offering the highest service I can in this life. It has helped me transform the deepest suffering into love. - skyler myers (ayurvedic practitioner /yoga teacher)

I enter a class and the tone is set, perhaps by the strength of prana by the teacher or one or more of the students. Someone is holding the space and the first barrier I need to work out is do I want to take this on or does it feel like I will be carrying anxiety in my practice.  My insecurity will be tricky to let go of and might in turn make me hold my breath in panic.  I choose to place my mat….where?  By whom will I feel comfortable sharing my space, and if the class is 20 students full I guess I will have no choice.  A little weird, we’re really close together and I want to nod a “hello” to acknowledge their presence but there is an invisible wall between us and they are busy “prepping”.  Should I be “prepping”?   I didn’t have time today to clean my best pants; the ones that make me feel smooshed together where it counts. They say if you want to be the CEO start acting like the CEO, well the pants make me feel like I belong, to the movement that created the path, to a place I’ve never been (I think?) but keep getting told is better than where I am - nirvana.

Thank God, the class has started and we’re doing something.

She seems too old to be a yoga teacher, she seems too young. There is no way she’s had 3 children, he’s too cute to be straight.  I wonder if her life is perfect, how long do I need to do this until I’m perfect?   Let me run through the checklist again for tomorrow, she seems to be getting sweatier than me.  He held that pose without flinching, I shouldn’t have had that rice cake. I need a new pair of pants if I’m going to do this more than once a week, I think these pants are becoming see- through?!

I ache.

Home practice is where the magic happens; it's quiet enough for my awareness to go more deeply inward and the rhythm of the practice arises from my own breath. While my practice has a general form given that I practice Shadow Yoga which has set sequences, I can honor where I'm at on a given day by varying the intensity and choosing seated poses that best suit the way my body, mind, and energy feel that morning. - kate schwabacher (Ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

Home practice is where the magic happens; it's quiet enough for my awareness to go more deeply inward and the rhythm of the practice arises from my own breath. While my practice has a general form given that I practice Shadow Yoga which has set sequences, I can honor where I'm at on a given day by varying the intensity and choosing seated poses that best suit the way my body, mind, and energy feel that morning. - kate schwabacher (Ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

There is nothing glamorous about Yoga. Yoga asks us to look inward, into the darkness, into the abyss, into the fear and anger and unknown, until it dissolves into truth. The pathway home is rarely comfortable or convenient. The moment we think we've found it, it alludes us. When we become comfortable on this path of uncertainty we find peace and realize it was love all along.  - madhuri phillips  (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

There is nothing glamorous about Yoga. Yoga asks us to look inward, into the darkness, into the abyss, into the fear and anger and unknown, until it dissolves into truth. The pathway home is rarely comfortable or convenient. The moment we think we've found it, it alludes us. When we become comfortable on this path of uncertainty we find peace and realize it was love all along.  - madhuri phillips  (ayurvedic practitioner/yoga teacher)

Start where you are: Don’t limit your experience with the idea that you need to meet some external goal. Let the internal and external training and churning and transformation happen authentically and in their own time. Show up: Stay present in your breath and be compassionate with yourself as you discover and play with your evolutionary edge. Be consistent: Establishing a practice is about finding a rhythm. Try practicing at different times of the day until you find the time where the rhythm of your daily energy naturally supports a steady practice.
— Siva Rea
It's vitally important for my spiritual practice and health / vitality to spend daily time in silence and sacred ritual. Both from an Ayurvedic and Yogic perspective, silence and ritual are a type of sacred Pratyahara allowing us glimpses of the Numinous and rejuvenation of the nervous system which allows the mind to reach deeper states of awareness; ritual and silence cultivate a unique type of tapas and Ojas fueling our journey toward Self-Realization. I return to the mundane perspective renewed and inspired after journeys into the silence and sacred space of my inner world. - craig williams (Ayurvedic Practitioner / Herbalist / Acupuncturist)

It's vitally important for my spiritual practice and health / vitality to spend daily time in silence and sacred ritual. Both from an Ayurvedic and Yogic perspective, silence and ritual are a type of sacred Pratyahara allowing us glimpses of the Numinous and rejuvenation of the nervous system which allows the mind to reach deeper states of awareness; ritual and silence cultivate a unique type of tapas and Ojas fueling our journey toward Self-Realization. I return to the mundane perspective renewed and inspired after journeys into the silence and sacred space of my inner world. - craig williams (Ayurvedic Practitioner / Herbalist / Acupuncturist)

There is no-one here, just you. You can do the pose for as long as you feel or you can just lay down. It’s your altar and your created space.  It’s your time and your routine. 10 minutes of concentrated effort is all you need to tune in.

A personal practice is essential to develop the daily routine of self care. A group class can be an excellent motivator but also having a personal practice created by a yoga teacher can help you to avoid injury and keep your development consistent.   And if your Yoga teacher has an Ayurvedic background, they can teach you the benefits of adjusting your practise according to the season and the dosha that is affected. This is where Yoga becomes your medicine, rather than your sport.

Your created space, at first unfamiliar and awkward, will become a magnetic field that will draw you in.  The more consistent you are, the easier it becomes. This is part of your step toward independence, not only in developing will power which will feed into all parts of your life but also in owning a routine that works for you at your unique stage of development.

Shine on!

I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul - Rumi