Join me Tuesday nights
Free Yoga Class.
Today’s practice will be the 6th practice of what was going to be 9 in honor of George Floyd and our exploration of Bhakti Yoga for peace. However, I have mis-counted our weeks and realize now that we can only do 8 instead of 9 classes because I will be gone for our 9th week and without wifi. I apologize. My husband and I had scheduled this mountain summer retreat back in January.
Peace begins within and yoga has many tools to help us cultivate our own inner peace. The energy of that inner peace then radiates out to others and to our world.
This week’s theme is Sri. Also spelled Shree, Shri. Sri is beauty, magnificent, grace, splendor and it is also used as an honorific to a deity such as Sri Ram, honoring the magnificence of Ram. Just like the practice of cultivating gratitude, you can cultivate beauty, that is, you can train your eye to see and rejoice in the beauty, grace and splendor all around you.
I was on the phone the other day during a walk, and I saw the most magnificent clematis bloom. It was so beautiful that I literally stopped walking and talking to my friend. After a moment she said, “…are you still there?”. I was there, but I had also been transported by the beauty before me. Within that magnificent bloom was the exquisite unfolding krama of Nature. We have all seen, beautiful vistas of mountains, oceans, waterfalls or sunsets and sunrises. Magnificent works of art, paintings and sculptures that are sublime. Or watched a dancer or musician play music with such grace. This is Sri. Sometimes when I am watching you all in your yoga poses, I think, Sri! So amazingly beautiful to see you all move, in your bodies into your shapes filled up with your hearts!
It takes practice though to appreciate sri. It’s so easy to just keep walking and talking and barely glace at the beauty in front of you. But as you learn to be more and more present, to pause when you see something beautiful and note it, giving a moment of your attention and honor it. In that moment in that honoring you are honoring the divine in all things. No wonder Sri is used as an honorific before a deity’s name! The more you practice the more beauty you see in the world and in others. As you are open to receiving more and more splendor, your heart unfolds from its constricted space, opening to receive peace, beauty and love.
Our class tonight will be sweet and flowing with space for you to experience your Sri. Your beauty, where-ever you are today. It doesn’t have to look culturally beautiful, there is beauty even in decay, the delicate and intricate decomposition and transformation of one thing to another. Not unlike a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. There is Sri in that process. So, wherever you are, bring your magnificence! And bring your prayers.
During our centering meditation, we will have a moment at the beginning of class to share these gratitude and prayers if you’d like. In class we will continue to chant the mantra: Lokah Samastah Suknino Bhavantu which translates as “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” At the end of our asana (posture practice) I will chant this chant 108 times. You are welcome to join me or to simply find a restorative posture and allow the vibration of the mantra to wash over you, like a sonic bath. You can read more about chanting and this chant here.
Andrea Carvalho, musings on the journey to vibrant embodiment.