We all have our patterns. One of mine is to feel an all-encompassing obligation to do everything, for everyone, all the time, which can lead to feeling so overwhelmed that I wind up doing not enough for anyone. Not a winning combo.
Thankfully, yoga provides tools to examine our patterns, and while away from work last week I was able to watch that pattern a little closer. I got to see what was under the compulsion (fear, sense of inadequacy, self-critic, to name a few), and give myself the space and care I needed to come back to my commitments with a clearer vision. One sentence in Donna Farhi’s book Bringing Yoga to Life offered me a potent reminder:
“We use the practice of Yoga, not to correct or punish ourselves for who we are not,
but to see who we actually are.”
For me, this sentence was a salve, a refuge, a source of nourishment. It created an opening into one of my favorite principles in yoga, Isvara pranidhana, the final of the ten guidelines for living we’ve been exploring for the past year, the Yamas and Niyamas.
Isvara refers to a god of your understanding – one teacher told me that Isvara is that which nourishes you. Pranidhana means to be supported by. So, this Niyama means to be supported by that which most nourishes you, to “celebrate the fact of our aliveness and surrender to life and to God.” (Donna Farhi).
What nourishes you? How can you cultivate a connection to something greater than yourself? And (how) is yoga helping you to see who you actually are?
At 8 Limbs we are steadfastly committed to continuing to share the true depth of yoga teachings, for now through the wonders of Zoom. We encourage you to learn more about our upcoming in-depth offerings at two upcoming Info Sessions:
Together, At Home – a Summer Retreat with Chiara Guerrieri
Instagram Live Conversations between Chiara & Graeme Aegerter about Chiara’s August 24-28 retreat
Mondays August 10 and 17 @ 3:30pm on @8limbsyoga
History & Art of Yoga – a 3-month course with Douglas Ridings
Info Session Wednesday, August 5, 6:30-7:15pm
Register at firstname.lastname@example.org and get Wednesday’s 7:30pm All Levels with Douglas for free!
8 Limbs Yoga Immersions* & Teacher Training Programs
Info Session Monday, August 10, 7:30pm
Register at email@example.com and receive a free Livestream class for attending)
*new extended learning programs
Stay cool, everyone, and enjoy your August!
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Founder and Director of Education
P.S. I’ll be at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill tomorrow 8/6 from 2-4pm & 5:30-6:30pm and can assist folks with limited prop and 8 Limbs swag sales. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to come by!