Yoga: A Journey to the Heart
By Ashley Benson, ERYT-200, YACEP
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are the guiding light on our experience and journey of yoga. Yoga means Union, to bring together, to yoke. What is it that we are bringing into union? Nichala Joy Devi offers a beautiful interpretation:
“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart.”
We can think of consciousness as our mind, which is the container of our thoughts. As we still our mind, it is then we can abide in the heart and experience our true nature.
Where do we begin? A beautiful practice for living in the heart is acceptance. Love begins with acceptance. It is in self-acceptance, in each moment, that the mind can find stillness, and rest. No longer needing to choose for or against what is present. The consciousness begins to rest in the seat of loving awareness at the heart. Simply noticing, accepting, and allowing.
“United in the heart, consciousness is steadied, then we abide in our true nature – joy.” – Nichala Joy Devi
This month we invite you share the intention of self-love, compassion, and acceptance. This is a practice we can cultivate on the mat, during our asana practice. When self-judgement arises, we guide our breath and consciousness into our heart space. It is here that judgment and resistance melt away into compassion and acceptance. As we nurture this practice, acceptance deepens into an experience of love. Love for what is, as is, including ourselves.