December 7, 2012 -- Progression in Yoga: Asana, Pranayama, Meditation
Anything we do regularly can't help but to progress or evolve, but progression in anything also benefits from direction and intention: it helps to know where you are headed and why you are doing what you are doing. In yoga there is a natural progression from the physical aims and benefits of doing poses, to the deeper connection the poses have with the breath and mind. The ultimate aims of yoga are kindness and compassion--which naturally arise from a living recognition of one's unavoidable interconnectedness and interdependence with all life (one of the meanings of the word 'yoga'). We can practice initially to address stiffness, or back pain or neck pain, but eventually realize these pains are not disconnected from how we see ourselves, how we react to changes and challenges in our lives. As we practice, we may come to see that our life is imbued with grace in moments we need it most and that, in fact, the initial impulse to seek out a yogic or meditative practice is such a moment--an unseen moment of kindness. Some of the details of how this progression occurs are explored in this workshop.