Last week, I was on line at the farm stand, waiting to pay for my greens, corn, and fruit so that I could go home and make a meal of summer’s bounty, when I found myself listening to the women ahead of me. They were visiting the Berkshires for the week, enjoying all that this beautiful part of the planet has to offer. One told the other that she wanted to pause and “do some poses” on their hike today so that she could take pictures for her social media. I went to my car thinking about the ways in which yoga has enriched my life. Over the past three decades, my practice has supported me through some very difficult moments.
Even a little bit of yoga is better than none at all, but how much are you getting out of your yoga practice?
One of the most beautiful things about the practice of yoga is that there is no limit to learning and no limit to the benefits a yogi can derive from study. Each person is responsible for his or her own journey on the path. Some people get on their mat daily; others only sporadically. Some practice only within the confines of weekly class; others develop additional practices such as meditation, chanting, and pranayama (breath work). The level of “studentship” that we bring to our learning is known in Sanskrit as adhikara.
Adhikara means that we are dedicated and open to learning about our bodies, minds, and hearts.
When we cultivate adhikara, we bring our full hearts and whole minds to each practice, each session of meditation, each moment of study, each journal entry. We are open to the entire experience, not just the result. We know that learning is work and that we are willing to put forth the dedicated effort that it will take to get it done…even though we also know that we’ll never really be done at all.
No matter how often you get on your mat or which practices you engage in, Adhikara is the difference between “doing yoga” and being a yogi.
It is said that, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” If you’re reading this, you’re ready to study Ashaya Yoga. I invite you to join me and cultivate your adhikara in the coming months. There’s something for every student from brand-new yogis to licensed Ashaya instructors. You’ll find one-day seminars, weekend workshops, the Ashaya Yoga 200-Hour In-Depth Study/Teacher Training, and the 2020 Tropical Retreat in beautiful Costa Rica on the calendar.
I created Ashaya Yoga in order to provide students a deep practice that offers you the keys to pain-free living. I look forward to working with you soon.