The Yoga of Here and Now
by Christy Lindell, Tofino
"When your body, mind and soul are healthy and
harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health
and harmony to the world…"
b. k. s. inyngar
There are a variety of wonderful yoga classes happening in Tofino.
Whether you are on the mat in a class, at home or on the beach, you
are giving yourself time
to come home to your body, mind, heart and soul.
There are many different forms of yoga, known as "paths". Each one
has its own emphasis and compilation of methods. They all intertwine like the
plants of the forest. One path leads or complements another and many focused
yoginis (female) or yogis (male) will rarely find themselves restricted to a
single path. The main traditional paths of yoga, besides "hatha" are: "ashtanga" yoga, "raja" yoga, "jnana" yoga, "karma" yoga, "bhakti" yoga, "tantra" yoga, "kundalini" yoga,
and "mantra" yoga.
Ashtanga yoga describes and eightfold path, which leads to transcendence,
freedom and oneness. These paths include demanding honesty, compassion, non-violence,
moderation, contentment, self-knowledge and commitment. The practice continues
on to "pranayama," (the use of breathing to control the flow of the
life force or "prana", through the body) or "asana," (postures/poses).
The final limbs of ashtanga yoga include different levels of meditation
and oneness with the universe as a whole.
Raja yoga is based on meditation. It is the yoga of the mind, utilizing
the energy of consciousness and thought to allow the mind to achieve control
over excessive thought, worry, fear or unwanted emotion.
Jnana yoga is the yoga of wisdom. It is meditative and contemplative.
It uses the mind to ask profound questions of existence and "reality".
Karma yoga is the yoga of everyday life. It deals with our actions and
reactions of every experience. It incorporates the philosophy that what you give
out into the world ultimately comes back to you.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of love and devotion, in which emotion is channelled
into the worship of the divine.
Tantra yoga transforms the energy of physical action and connection into a
state of spiritual ecstasy. This path is directly associated with awakening kundalini,
(below) a powerful energetic force in the body.
Kundalini yoga, a form of "hatha" yoga, sees "kundalini" energy
as a coiled serpent the base of the spine. Once awakened through breath and movement,
this powerful force moves up the body's energy centres or chakras until
it reaches the crown chakra, leading to the experience of transcendence and bliss.
Mantra yoga involves the vocalizing repeated phrases or "mantra," to
enhance concentration and meditation.
The paths of yoga branch out into infinite possibilities. There's yoga
of parenting, surfing, friendship, cooking, cleaning, driving, playing, and the
list goes on for eternity. The beauty of yoga is that you are perfect exactly
where and how you are in your practice. For it is all yoga if we see that everything
and everyone is connected, in union, in oneness.
If you are being mindful and breathing consciously, you are practicing
yoga. It is a beautiful challenge to remain fully in the moment, which
is the basis
of meditation. Yoga and meditation are two hands holding each other lovingly.
The word "yoga" is a Sanskrit term meaning union. The union of everything
within us, and surrounding us, from the energy of the molecules we inhale and
exhale to the furthest star that shines it's wonderful light across the
universe and beyond.
The Yoga of here and now is about really connecting with our soul, each other's
souls, Mother Earth and your interpretation of the divine with gratitude, respect
and ultimately love in every moment.
Christy Lindell runs the Reflections Retreat Holistic Spa in Tofino. Contact
her at (250) 725-4448 or visit her website at www.reflectionsholisticretreat.com
Tofino yoga instructor Christy Lindell explains the different forms of yoga, from ashtanga yoga to mantra yoga.