October practice theme at NYSY: Alignment

In October our practice theme at NYSY is Alignment.

In Abhaya Yoga Alignment is the first step of practice!

But what does that translate in our daily practice, be it Yoga, Pilates, or any other form of exercise. This is a good question to ponder. For me, this is how I understand it today...

Body Alignment is precise, careful, anatomically correct placement of all our body parts: skeleton, muscles, joints, fascia.

How do we know we have achieved correct Body Alignment?

My teacher John Friend used to say, “when it is right, it feels right, and it looks right!” So it is not difficult for the Yoga or Pilates practitioner to feel the ideal alignment, and for the experienced teacher to detect the free flow of energy in a posture. So together let us focus on an alignment that feels good, looks good, and allows for a free flow of energy in our bodies. 

Mind Alignment refers to mindfulness, the awareness we maintain in our practice.  Focusing our mind on what we are doing, sensing body and breath from the inside. BREATH is of course the great vehicle.  Teachers, please always guide students to BREATHE fully and with awareness. This aligns the mind with the action; it grounds us in our bodies and brings us in the present moment.   

Heart Alignment is the aim to unite with the Highest Power in life, our deepest desire to see Goodness and to be one with the divine in and around us.  What do we really want from the depths of our heart?   Right this moment, as I am gazing at the night sky and feeling the soft breeze of the late summer, I feel that I really want to see others being happy.  If we want to see TRUTH we need to look deeply in our hearts, at a time when things quiet down.  When the veils of the surface reality part and CLARITY prevails, then we see our TRUE HEART’S DESIRE, our ICCHA.  But we need to be awake, brave, and aware to distinguish our delusion from our truth. I just watched a Woody Allen movie “Irrational Man” where a philosopher professor, feeling ill at ease about life, suddenly gets excited by an idea that is based on his own perception of Justice and commits murder... The movie demonstrates in a very skillful and truly magnificent way what Master Dogen, the founder of Zen in Japan, has reiterated:

The Way is free and clear, but if there is a hairbreadth’ s deviation, (in our mind’s perception of reality) then there is a difference between heaven and earth.”

Our own philosopher Herakleitos referred to the same thing when he said: “ For those who are awake, reality is one and common.  But those who are asleep live each in their own world.” 

What do you say friends?  Are your ready to inhabit one and common world, aligned with the ULTIMATE TRUTH, the fountain of true justice, clarity, and compassion in life?

If so, let us get ALIGNED and going. Not just in Yoga and/or Pilates, but in the rest of your life, you may find the 6 Steps of Abhaya helpful! 

Abhaya Yoga—6 Steps of Practice!

Align=     Body—Mind—Heart  with the highest power!

Body=     Practice: Dynamic & Appropriate.                                                                            (Body is the Vehicle of  life and enlightenment)

Heart=   Connection with the Truth of our heart. Iccha.                                                 (Heart is the spring through which the Divine stream flows)

Asana=  Upright Stance in Life.  Positive Attitude.  

Yes=        to Meditation

Action=  Fearless Action. Our Best Effort for all beings.                                                   (Bodhisattva effort, the work of the Spiritual Hero)

Enjoy your PRACTICE OF ALIGNMENT in October.

We are here to support YOU as you have always supported US, in the best possible way!

Vivi and your NYSY TEAM!