Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen
I really love Integral Vinyasa yoga because of the perfect combination of static poses with flow sequences. I have taken my own style further and developed shorter, pranayama flows as well as whole choreographed dance-like sequences to particular pieces of music that I find inspiring. It is a fairly feminine, intuitive and heart-centered style that is dynamic, which is something I enjoy, as I tend to be restless and get bored if I have to stick to the same sequences of postures in a yoga class.
This week I focused on the theme of bringing light into one’s life. It makes me think of the quote I posted above by Leonard Cohen, the legendary 82-year-old Canadian poet and singer from his song “Anthem”. It is a beautiful reminder of how even our imperfections are in a way perfect and an opportunity to grow and shine. Yoga asanas themselves need not be absolutely perfect - each person's body and ability is different, but how you work with the pose and what you gain and learn about yourself while in it, is what makes it magical. Another one of my favourite quotes is by Carl Jung, who also talks a lot about how becoming conscious involves transforming darkness into light. We can take the aspect of self-growth and development even further by referring to how we should always reach for the light - divine light and wisdom and reach ‘enlightenment’ on our spiritual journey. In many ways, we should be like plants and reach for the light in order to blossom and grow.
In terms of the energy of light (Sun and Moon), the class had a balance between some strong masculine poses such as the warrior poses and arm balances like the Crow, along with gentle more feminine flow sequences. I did a wonderful Kundalini Yoga standing sequence that I was taught by Shakta Kaur Khalsa, which we warmed up to, that involved lots of arm and hip circles and fluid shapes. This was performed to an invigorating track called “Where I sit is holy” by Shaina Noll.
Later there was a beautiful gentle lunge flow sequence using the pose Anjaneyasana and moving from it with the breath into two other stretches, with the use of hand mudras, a practice I really enjoy incorporating into my own practice as well as the classes I teach. I have attached this particular sequence below for you to enjoy. Finally, I ended my class with these words: There is a light within you, it may be buried deep down under layers of illusions; expectations and suppressed emotion; it may never have been given a chance to shine; but it is there. You just need to take the time to look. Close your eyes, take a deep breath into your belly and locate that light, that inner essence; that power and strength. With each breath, allow it to become stronger until it is a vibrant flame, burning brightly, illuminating your path, guiding you on. Release any fears or limiting beliefs you may have held about yourself and take this moment to trust in yourself completely, know that you are capable, worthy and able to manifest anything you desire.
Today my resolution for you is to embrace the warrior within and allow your light to shine.
* NOTE: Anjaneyasana stretches the hamstrings, thighs and groin and opens the chest. Please be careful and avoid the last two variations in this flow if you suffer from knee problems.
Photo by Andreas Kind on Unsplash