This article brings up many good points for discussion and learning. The original photo used (shown here) brings up other points. Because some might miss the photo issue in the comments, I’ll sum it up:
The photo was stolen. Megan, the individual in the photo, is an acrobat who also practices yoga. Here is what she said of the photo, “The ‘pose’ in this photo is not an asana, it is an action shot of me playfully performing acrobatics on the beach, an artful expression the photographer and I co-created that was not intended to be used for any purpose related to yoga.”
Relax With Life: Applying Yoga Principles to Reduce Stress
Love Your Life Publishing
17 June 2015
Paperback & e-book
Author provided copy
“Why would you want to manage stress when you can just relax instead? Author Kenyon Gatlin used to be an expert at being stressed out. After fifteen years of learning from a world renowned Yoga Master how to apply yoga principles to daily life, Kenyon has become an expert at relaxing. She lost her job, marriage, and home, yet she didn't lose her peace of mind. She discovered that yoga is much more than a series of poses, but a system that can transform stress and pain into joy and peace. In this book, she shares her life stories and the tools and techniques you can use at any moment to permanently reduce the stress in your life.”
I have long had a dream, an impossible dream. I wanted to write a book. I really love writing but then came a slippery slope, I started writing blogs. Finally came the deathblow: I started to want my blog posts to be meaningful, insightful and I wanted people to read them. I went from being able to write quickly and easily to having to labor over everything that I wrote. I feared that what I wrote would not be good enough, would not be wise enough or, worst of all, would actually be harmful to those who read it.
Over the summer, I came face to face with one of my greatest fears—which partly formed the fear that blogging awoke in me—and eleven days ago, I watched it evaporate in the intense heat of my yoga sadhana. Since that moment, life has opened up to me more than it ever has and presented me, day after day, with exactly the experiences I feared most. In every experience, I felt free to finally let myself go completely. There were still moments of fear but they shriveled beneath the light that burns in me. This post, however, is not about fear nor is it about that burning light. This post is about one of the amazing things that has happened: A Book.
For years I have dreamed of being an author. I started writing my first novel at age 15 but I never finished it. I have since started writing three other books, all unfinished. Fear, that soul crushing fear, made sure that I never wrote, The End. The fear is dead and this week I found something amazing that has given me the tools I need to write. Now my fingers have taken on a life of their own, words fly off them onto this keyboard or through a pen. I woke at 5:30 this morning and this happened:
What you put into Yoga and your intention for practicing it is exactly what you will receive for your efforts. Most of us, however, have no firm idea what we want from our practice. We know Yoga makes us feel good and we like that; so, we stick with it. There are many different definitions of Yoga and there are so very many styles, trends, fads and traditions of practicing Yoga.
Today is Guru Purnima, the day to honor and revere one’s guru and the True Guru that we each are. The three pictures above depict the three masters within my Yoga Lineage that I consider my guru. I have never met Dadaji, represented by the statue, nor have I met Bapuji, the bald headed man. I have, however, felt their guidance and love. The man at the top is Yogi Amrit Desai, my guru, and I call him Gurudev which means beloved guru. I rejoice in the lives of these great teachers and am so grateful to benefit from their teaching.
They are my guru but they are not the Guru. They are pointers or guides, directing each of us to look inward and to realize what we find there. The true realization is, however, that the Guru is not only within. The Guru is all things at all times. It is all the True Guru.
It’s early Sunday morning and I’m sitting at my kitchen table, surrounded by a crazy disarray of packed boxes and bags. I look out into my backyard and remember seeing some of what I’ll share with you today but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Before I dive into the substance of this post, I need to give you a little taste of my family history and some of my own personal history.
I count myself to be blessed because I know the man pictured to the left. He is known as Chandrakant. He is a great teacher, not because he is charismatic but because he has personally experienced what he teaches. He is exceptionally devoted to Bapuji, Gurudev and, from what I have observed, to anyone who happens to be in front of him. He is a very intense man and that intensity can, at times, feel very intimidating until one realizes the intensity comes from his insatiable desire that everyone be free. Chandrakant is also a great storyteller and, I have found, his stories are usually worth much more than just their great entertainment value.