Ancient Wisdom Now

As students of Yoga, many of us understand that our practice is more than physical .. after all, the body does not last forever.  So it is that the dedicated student has come to realize that Yoga is the practice of self.


I frequently remind my students and shishyas alike that, ‘Some days are diamond and some days are stone.’  This applies not only to the poses but to our daily thoughts, which are either concerned about the future or worried about the past.  Such thoughts cloud our perception.


Thinking ahead to the future over activates the emotions and desires, and thinking about the past keeps us from realizing the now.


Traditional Yoga Studies have been passed down to us from great sages who cared enough to share their wisdom.  Their experience of how to rule the unruly mind, to cast off shadow for sun, to do every duty with full attention, to see in each day an opportunity for fulfillment, and to realize that there are no problems, only challenges.


So it is, when we read the ancient Yogic texts, that when we are told that before even beginning the practice of Yoga, we must first seek the grace of Ganesha, and before embarking on the deeper studies, we must first have the grace of Shiva, we are not being told to worship gods.


Ganesha is the energy of success and good favor.  Think on this: whenever we begin a new endeavor we set out with all best intent, we envision achievement.  Likewise, when we have decided to dedicate our self to seeking the ancient wisdom of Yoga, we invoke the energy of Shiva, which is auspiciousness.  After all, who doesnt start a new project filled with an adventurous spirit, a hopeful outlook, and feeling lucky!


Without these two – success and auspiciousness – no matter how hard we try, our Yoga remains only a physical practice.


Which is why the ancient sages also advised us to seek a teacher.  Not a fitness instructor who teaches yoga in a gym, or a personal trainer who uses yoga poses in their workout, but a real teacher .. and not just a certified one either .. but someone who has dedicated their life to the living of Yoga.


With the help of a true Yogi or Yogini, our meditation moves from beyond sitting in silence to being charged with Shakti, the energy of ability.  Again, the ancient texts tell us that without Shakti, there is no fire – the fire of vigor, eagerness and passion.


Prem and Metta!

Yogini Devi


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