Monday, October 29, 2007

Opening to Grace

So I do a little Anusara yoga and take a little trip to Trader Joes. Anusara means “flowing with Grace,” “going with the flow,” “following your heart.” The style was founded by John Friend in 97.

Anyway I've been practicing Anusara more regularly and after "opening my heart" as the practice does, people started opening up to me about all sorts of things. One older gentleman went into a very descriptive conversation about an old process of coating almonds (what?) I almost didn't get out of there because the cashier stopped scanning my groceries and just kept talking about the degradation of the environment and the fact that all the water was drying up. It was all a little too coincidental and bizarre.

Which leads me to my thoughts before all of this. Many, many people in the U.S. practice yoga. It's the trendy thing to do these days. However, most people practice the Hatha branch of yoga and do not know that there are 6 branches of yoga and 8 limbs (correct me if I'm wrong):

Branches/Types of YOGA:
Jnâna Yoga, the Yoga of wisdom/mind
Râja Yoga, the Yoga of meditation
Hatha Yoga, the Yoga of physical processes
Karma Yoga, the Yoga of service
Tantra Yoga, the Yoga of Rituals
Bhakti-Yoga, the Yoga of devotion

There are 8 limbs, one of which is the physical postures:

1. Yama: 5 positive ethical guidelines (restraints, or abstinences) that include non-violence, fidelity to the Absolute, non-stealing, truthfulness and non-attachment.
2. Niyama: 5 positive behaviors, including cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study and devotion to God.
3. Asana: Physical exercises that people usually associate with yoga.
4. Pranayama: These are the breathing exercises.
5. Pratyahara: This is detachment from the fluctuations of life.
6. Dharana: This is the practice of power ful and focused concentration.
7. Dhyana: Devotional meditation
8. Samadhi: Absorption of one's individual consciousness in the essence of God...ergo, enlightenment.

Most of I myself have just started branching out and I'm beginning to wonder if yogis have an inherent sense of how to take care of the environment. If the "suggestions" (remember, this is not a religion...there are no commandments) are followed, then the individual has a deep respect for life in all its forms and does not dwell on materialistic matters.

So in summary (because its late and I'm tired) a yogi is inherently an eco conscious person.

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