Starting My Practice
I have been a ‘practitioner’ of yoga (and I put that word in inverted commas as using the word practice for me, creates an impression of a beginning and an end to the activity, a separation of the doing and not doing ones’ spiritual work), for over 27 years. Yoga came into my life during my early 20’s and my participation in the different aspects and facets of the path have unfolded and evolved, some have grown and some have diminished over the past 3 decades.
In my early 20’s, the asanas or postures were the main preoccupation for me, and I attended regular Iyengar classes which taught me alignment, structure and discipline, I felt great and exulted in the growing connection and awareness in my physical body. I had a lot to unlearn, but nevertheless the journey was emerging and affecting me on other levels I wasn’t yet able to perceive.
I then moved to a mountain region in the north of Portugal and for 3 years my ‘practice’ went underground. There were no classes to attend and I had to rely on my own resourcefulness and inner guidance. My journey into yoga became a wild untamed expression of intuition and naturally arising exploration in response to my surroundings. I had the opportunity to sit or move for days beside the most beautiful river source I have ever had the pleasure of spending time in the company of. I felt the hand of the divine feminine guiding my body and mind into fluid surrender. I felt moved into dynamic ferocity by forest fires that raged and threatened to engulf the area I lived in. My body felt powerful and my mind began to become steady and calm.
The tradition of yoga is a living, breathing, dynamic organism that both nourishes and supports ones’ journey through time and space. It can become a firm friend with a gentle guiding force for both change and remembrance our lives.
“Yoga reminds us that it might be possible to look at our situations and circumstances from a different perspective.”
At times when we can feel lost, unhappy, dissatisfied or angry, the path of yoga has us walk down those familiar channels back to ourselves, bone by bone, finger & toe, breath by thought, back to harmony, contentment and calm inner peace.
Through this path of yoga, it is possible to develop a relationship with oneself, an awareness of the self, of the multi dimensional being that exists within and without us all. A beautiful, gentle form of sakti or source awareness emerges that allows us to become open to receiving with gratitude the possibility that each breath is a blessing, a gift. The blessing of a warm beam of sunshine, the beauty in the new baby green of a leaf in spring, the fragrance of a beautiful rose or the sound of a gently flowing stream.
The Path to Inner Wisdom
The path of yoga should bring us to a place of gentle, loving & compassionate connection to ourselves, others and our surroundings so that we feel. We feel for, and with all that is, unattached and yet fully participating in the beautiful dream that is the gift of this life on earth.
When we open to the many blessings of this path (or any wisdom path), we create the opportunity to cease creating dis-ease in our bodies, in our minds and in our souls, and this is then reflected in our relationship to our outer world. The environment, our home. We are nature, in nature and of nature and if we can develop this compassion through yoga, we can become free from drama, negativity and violence against ourselves and others.
Sharon is a qualified Yoga Teacher with CY and YTI, and teaches Gentle Hatha Yoga, The Gentlest Yoga and Yoga Nidra in Creacon Wellness Retreat, New Ross, Wexford and Kilkenny. She also holds regular retreats in Creacon and other locations. See Mandala Yoga for information on upcoming classes, workshops and retreats.