Wise words from Donna Farhi

“Over two decades of teaching I have witnessed again and again the power that Yoga has to shift seemingly intransigent negative patterns to awaken the body, mind and heart to other possibilities. No matter who we are or how long we have been entrenched in self-defeating behaviors, through daily Yoga practice we can become present to our own fundamental goodness and the goodness of others. Rediscovering who we really are at our core opens the way to experiencing our most basic level of connection with others. This connectedness lies at the heart of the practice called Yoga. Living in a unitive state is not an esoteric concept, and it is not an elusive higher realm that only very clever people can aspire to. It is the opening of the heart so that we have the capacity to feel tenderness, joy, and sorrow without shutting down. It is the opening of the mind to an awareness that encompasses rather than excludes. It is the startling and immediate recognition of our basic sameness. It is the practice of observing clearly, listening acutely, and skillfully responding to the moment with all the compassion we can muster. And it is a homecoming with and in the body for it is only here that we can do all these things….

That we may have come to see ourselves as separate and shut off from others is the central dilemma that we methodically dismantle in our Yoga practice because it is this false sense of separation that we create so much of our own suffering and contribute to the suffering around us. We begin by putting aside a little time each day so that we can deliberately slow down and in doing so find a more natural rhythm that supports our well-being. This more relaxed rhythm allows us to reflect rather than react, to soften rather than harden, and to see clearly how things are now rather than dwell on the past or worry about the future…. Gradually we begin to recognize that in between the ups and downs and the coming and going, there is a matrix of stillness that is the backdrop of all phenomena.”

Donna Farhi, from her book “Bringing Yoga to Life.”

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