Oct 15th, 2017

All yoga is magical but a refined yoga practice offers an abundance of utilizable magic. A refined yoga practice measures and organizes the frame of the body. The structure we work with is our bones and joints and this organization allows the inner contents of the organs and glands to have space to function optimally and efficiently. A well running body creates the soil to cultivate grace and abundance.

Finding space in the body through the yoga practice allows us to discern what we are putting inside of us and this only happens when we first empty ourselves out. This is simple math and the equation must always remain balanced. This is why the aim of all practices is to initially become empty. We come into the practice full and typically we are filled with things that are not of our choosing. There is conditioning from our parents, peers and society, habits, preconceived notions and prejudices. A refined practice works on emptying us out so we have the opportunity to choose what to put inside.

We make a deal when we take on a human body. The deal is that there is a tremendous amount of suffering in the world and no matter what we do, we are all a part of that suffering. It is a fact of life, we are all interrelated and interconnected. It was the buddha’s insight that “suffering pervades life” that made him go deep into his nature. A lot of this suffering is physical and that is why it is important to practice yoga. Mitigate physical suffering and it becomes more joyful to live in the body. As we do the same things everyday, the trick is to find clever ways to do the things we do but with more joy, grace, and understanding into our internal worlds. Personally observing the self reveals a lot about the relationship we each have with ourselves and how this is mirrored back from the external environment.

All magic work is an inside job. When we understand the inner world the outer invariably shifts. We can’t change others we can only change ourselves and when we look out into the world everything we see is a reflection from within mirrored back to give us information into our self. Constant refinement of self shifts what we see. The practice gives us tools so we tune our vision to reflect abundance, love and grace instead of suffering and sorrow. What do you see? Be honest. If it isn’t serving you, can you shift it? We have to be brutally honest with ourselves because the only person that ever gets cheated when we lie is our self.

The yoga practice reveals the deepest pieces of our selves that we don’t initially see.This awareness transforms our inner world. Transformation is uncomfortable and we must not resist anything in the practice. To meet resistance head on is futile, an internal civil war ensues. We must move with resistance, move with the currents of change. All that we try and run away from is that which we need to grow and our inner anxieties show us where we aren’t excelling in life. What we are seeing is where we are already looking, what we aren’t seeing is a view we don’t have. In this practice it isn’t to keep working where we are good, but it is to start to work where we don’t have as much information as this is where we will be blindsided.

If the practices aren’t practical then how can we expect to put them into our everyday lives. We are looking to weave the practices into our world so we can become more conscious in all of our activities, from the routine to the magical.

The practices are so we live a richer existence with better tools to handle the demands of life and the myriad roles we play whether mother, father, sister, brother, lover, friend or simply a stranger. The practices teach us to rise above the animal instincts, the primitive emotions while cultivating an internal world of equanimity, joy, grace and abundance. When we go out into the world we want to set the conditions for everyone to be at their best and the way to do this is to constantly refine the self, to navigate the inner territory to cultivate joy and to bring this joy out into the world with all the strength, heart, disciplined emotions and compassion we can. It is much more difficult to bite our tongues when we perceive someone wrongs us but that is where the most elevated practices come in.

This practice is to choose what we are feeding. Together we can co-create a world where we constantly choose to feed compassion, love, empathy and understanding

This practice is to choose what we are feeding. Together we can co-create a world where we constantly choose to feed compassion, love, empathy and understanding.

Bio: Kat has been teaching Katonah Yoga both locally and worldwide through public classes, workshops, retreats and trainings. Her greatest mentors are Nevine Michaan and her mystical dog Hamlet. She has been using the tools and techniques of a measured yoga practice to live a joyous, magical life. Spending hours each day immersed in practice has shown her the impeccable design of human form and the geometry of confined space. There is a pattern that hides behind these momentary snapshots we see and understanding this pattern moves us into greater alignment and harmony. Look out for her book “Yoga as Origami, Themes from Katonah Yoga” a measured yoga practice explaining the functional fits and awe inspiring impeccable design of the human form.

Asana Journal

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