On practice

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Practice for me is an opportunity to “check in” with myself on every level. An oblation, to honour and pay homage to my body, breath, mind and spirit.

On process

In yoga, we practice asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, contemplations, meditations etc. These practices are meant for us to investigate our states of being and awareness in the field of consciousness. Over time and using regular yoga practice we can learn to sensitize our perceptions and observe ‘what is’ from the feedback given to us by these, our beautiful and astonishing bodily instruments.

 

With experience and again over time this “checking-in” or “exploration” can be valued by the measure of the level of tolerance, patience, respect and the eventual dignity we are given by the gift of our practice in tandem with any teachings or transmissions that we may be blessed enough to receive. This is our process.

On alignment

Through the gradual and pragmatic understanding of the alignment techniques -which are not merely the alignment of our our bodily structures, including all the body’s sheaths – but most importantly, we must include alignment with the natural order, the balance and flow of life, with heaven’s kingdom, or if you prefer, the field of Awareness; undifferentiated Consciousness. Thus no need to idolize or place on pedestals outer gurus, spiritual teachers and leaders. We probably all do this at some point in our lives but is it not our common ultimate truth and understanding that we are born whole, complete and free? And in owning this utter understanding of our inherent freedom, is this realisation not inspirational?

On comprehension

Can we comprehend our relationship and connection with our mats, with others and most importantly with ourselves? Can we carry this comprehension forwards with us off our mats and into our lives? Freedom is thus married with an inherent and integrated embodiment of humility and responsibility. “Thy will be done.” Whose will are we serving ? Imposition of external laws is rendered redundant when there is this connection and alignment.  Precepts are respected. Inherently. No import is given to the mind’s incessant demands. No space for competition or comparison. No room for pride in asana attainment. (There are always asanas that we cannot master, are there not?🤷🏼‍♀️😁)

Thus the profound, ironic and humorous question arises, ‘WHO cares?’

On humility

There is simply an acceptance of ‘what is’ in the ever-changing moment.

Humility’s foundation is in receiving and in the degree we are able to receive. We learn to receive. To receive what is. We are but silent witnesses in this receiving. This may appear to be very simple but it is not. Such total humility and embodied comprehension brings us responsibility. By the ton ! We cannot grasp, cause harm, steal, kill etc.  Again, “Thy Will Be Done”, not ‘mine.’ We are but conduits of the heart. Responsibility appears and then offers us wisdom. To receive in humility without grasping or desiring ‘otherwise’. To live in the astonishing and majestic heavens while being planted and rooted in the mundane earth. The ‘in-between.’ To hold. To hold this space. Such humility, such grace❣️

What will our practice bring to us today in our ever changing lives?

My heart tells me we are but heart conduits in this ever-changing flow of life. Can we align with this? Can we respect life, ours and others’ place in it enough to flow in our lives, to flow in our practice on and off the mat with respect and dignity. Can we realise this soul alignment? The dignity that every living being and creature deserves.

This is “leela,” the play of life and our biggest challenge.”

 

– June Whittaker

June Whittaker

YOGI

I practice and teach Iyengar Yoga now for 40 years.

Perception tells me that yoga teachers are many different things to many different people. I could describe what it is for me in a myriad of different ways.
I choose one. Love.

In the situation of a class or workshop, I simply play the role of the teacher and you play your role as that of student. In this role-playing and in this light we see it is purely circumstantial that I will sit in front of you and not the reverse.

I simultaneously learn from our interactions so you who will no doubt also teach me. It is an exchange between us. Please remember that neither I nor anyone else can really teach you for the biggest teacher we can ever have is ourselves. What I can offer is my experience, giving suggestions, pointers and guidance and accompany you on your journey.

For that is what yoga practice is, a journey. A pathless never-ending way of investigation USING ritual celebrationS of our incredible and sacred bodily instruments. In the name of love.

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