September 30, 2009

Reflections on the Yoga Journal Conference, 2009. ~ via Alison Litchfield.

I managed to get out the door this morning at 7:20, leaving my husband to get my 5 year old to kindergarten and my 18 month old to the nanny. I always love driving into Estes Park this time of year. The Aspens are shimmering their golden leaves and the air is clear and crisp. I am a yoga instructor at Om Time in Boulder and this is my 8th year attending Yoga Journal. Every year is distinctly different in it’s own way. This year seemed to have a grounded, more earthy element to it and perhaps that is the influence of Desikachar.

I was drawn to Rod Stryker’s class because of his background in Tantra and Ayurveda. One thing he spoke a lot about were the Gunas and how much they influence our lives. Rajas is one of the Gunas and means activity. Rod points out that we live in a very Rajasic culture. Even the popular yoga classes are the ones that are the most Rajasic. I have to admit, I have always been drawn to those more active styles (Ashtanga, Vinyasa…ect.)even though they often aggrevate my Pitta.

One thing he said that I found interesting was that we are often drawn to the very thing we are out of balance with and it’s not always what we need. In fact, most of us need to get more grounded and let go into the energy of forgiveness.

Why is this so hard?

What is driving us so intensely that we don’t have time for the really important things? Perhaps we are afraid of what’s underneath all the activity. As Pablo Neruda says in one of his poems,

“If we could for once do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves…..”

Isn’t this what the yoga is really here to teach us? To understand and know ourselves so that we can then offer our gifts back into the world.

The main thing I enjoy about this conference is in the midst of all the yoga, there is this great feeling of space and silence to reflect on the wonder of life. I hope to come again and again.

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