Posts tagged yoga
June | Make Space

Making space is one of the preliminary instructions to begin a meditation practice. A carefully curated, inspiring environment tangibly represents the internal process of space-making facilitated by daily practice. An altar is one way we create a space externally for our practice. When we clean this special place we can imagine we are cleaning our mind – in this way we come to see it as an outward representation of our inner environment.

                Similarly, yoga asana is the perfect way to prepare the physical body for meditation - making space inside. Linking breath and movement connects us to the energy flowing within. With consistent effort, it is possible to harness these winds of energy and direct them for specific purposes. We utilize the outer method of yogic postures to prepare for the deeper mental dive we take when we sit for meditation.   When I sit to meditate daily, I can more easily observe my instinctual response to stressful situations and consciously choose how to respond, creating mental space to act and react mindfully. Meditation helps us to go deep below the turbulent surface of the mind to find the place of peace that resides within. 

                Ideally, practicing in a space steeped in goodness creates the optimal conditions for transformation. A conducive space includes everything you need, is physically comfortable, and is free from irritants like insects and safe from violence. The perfect space also encompasses sangha – a community of beings who understand the path, encourage you along the way, and expand your mind through enlightening exchange. 

                It is such a gift to practice yoga and meditation steeped in ancient tradition and wisdom at a space imbued with the goodness of decades of practice by individuals striving for the liberation of all beings. There truly is nothing as precious as finding a refuge like this in the middle of New York City. . I am so thankful for Three Jewels. Practicing yoga and meditation at our sweet space helps me to stay bright, sharp and resolute in the intention to serve all beings everywhere.

 

--Allison Joy Phillips

January | Tadasana
tadasana.jpg

We become whole by stopping how the mind turns.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.2

Yogash chitta virtti nirodhah.

There is a reason that in the yoga practice we seek to find Tadasana in every pose. Tadasana, also known as Mountain Pose, is the simple, beautiful alignment of the body within it's natural curves and architecture that, when found, will help the practitioner also align their mind.
Align the body, align the mind.

 

Feet are placed together or hip-width apart, collarbones are broad, sternum is lifted, quadriceps muscles are engaged. It may be helpful to think of drawing energy up through the buoyant arches of the feet and through the central channel (susumna nadi). Utilize the breath to connect to the feeling of the feet firmly and evenly planted into the ground, toes spread wide, and the crown of the skull extending into the sky. Inhale through the feet up to the collarbones, hold gently, then exhale out through the soles of the feet and the crown of the skull. Ground and expand yourself. Turning the palms outward will help to lift and open the chest. Allow the curves of the spine to be fluid - neither overarching the lower back or tilting the pelvis, neither rounding in the upper spine or absorbing it too deeply between the shoulder blades. It is helpful as well to take the hands to the rib cage and lift the ribs off the hips, lengthening the side body.

 

You may notice energy moving upward and spilling over you. One can perhaps imagine standing under a waterfall, the coursing water showering upon us grace, strength and wisdom. Notice the space around you, inside you. Notice the movement as well inside you. Consider inhabiting and embodying the qualities of a mountain and notice how this feels. Notice the quality of the mind that arises.

 

This is what we seek. Stillness. Clarity. Awareness.

 

--Gina de la Chesnaye