Thursday, June 18, 2009


Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.
- Jack Kornfield

So as I was looking through some Facebook status updates yesterday- something that due to the number of Facebook Friends I have I rarely do because it is so time consuming- I saw that some one's status had the above quote. I thought it was so great because I was getting ready to go teach the Focus on Form class at Castle Hill. So I got to thinking about how, in order for intimacy to be present, we have to really know them well. And so, when we focus on the forms of the asana and our own form in relationship to the asana, we get invited into a deeper realm of knowledge which can become the foundation of a greater intimacy. And if enlightenment is intimacy with all things, as the quote suggests, even the study of what our legs are doing relative to our pelvis in Vira 2 begins to serve a Higher Purpose.

It is a rich theme and I worked with it all day. Because really there is a superficial relationship with asana where we learn the outside form, where to put our hands, where to look and a handful of "rules to keep your safe" and so forth. But a lot of that is just a surface way to relate to the poses. As we progress there is more- there is action within form, there are micro movements that open energy channels considerably, there is the delicate movement of the breath as well as the sometimes not so delicate movement of the breath when we are pushing a bit, and there are infinite ways to explore poses by shifting emphasis, order, foundations,exploring variations and understanding the discrete points of an asana in relationship to one another as opposed to in isolation.

The yoga path being one of relationship is really central to the ideology that informs Anusara Yoga Philosophy. Ours is not a renunciate path, not a "go to the mountaintop" Way but a path of community, involvement and participation- of intimacy.

And of course, we cannot forget that there is an idea in Anusara Yoga philosophy that this whole world is an expression of a Divine intimacy between spirit and matter that is sometimes described as the Divine Marriage of Shiva and Shakti.

And Dr. Phillips added to the conversation after my 4:30 class, suggesting that even karma yoga- our actions- when referenced in love and dedicated to intimacy- would be beautiful offerings of the heart because wouldn't you want to do your best for your Beloved?

So the metaphor is pretty rich. I taught three classes with it yesterday and barely scratched the surface. We worked with the relationship of the legs, pelvis and low belly in trikonasana and Vira 2 in Focus on Form. We sorted out the relationship of the inner back thigh and the back heel ink in Vira 1 and some mechanics of balancing in handstands at 4:30 and we went to eka pada rajakpaotasana at Bodhi last night which was great fun. Carrie asked for the pose, did the demo and got her toes for the first time. How is that for results? Great fun. I wish I took a picture because it was a great moment.

So many other things stand out about that class at Bodhi last night like Andrew, one of the teachers at Bodhi came for the second week in a row, Zoe M. (recently featured in Austin Fit Magazine and recently made a Lulu ambassador!!!) came, Valerie came and I hadn't seen her in a long time, Marie an Anusara Yoga teacher transplanted here from LA came and I had not seen in a while. I met several new folks like Joe and Deja and several people are becoming regulars in that class and so I felt something really gel there last night that was cool.

Oh- and the Beginning Series is at Bodhi Bee Caves- 4 mondays- from 5:30-7 starting July 13. $50 by July 1/$60 after- Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your students, tell yourself! Everybody is welcome.


Anonymous said...

Very thoughtfull post on enlightenment. It should be very much helpfull

Karim - Mind Power

Sanghacrank said...

THe quote you've cited above is actually from Dogen, a thirteenth century Zen monk.

Sanghacrank said...
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