April 1st marks the beginning of the Spring Yoga Challenge at Shree. Essentially the yoga challenge is a commitment to oneself to complete x number of classes in x amount of days. On the surface it appears to be a relatively simple commitment to undertake, however as many simple things prove themselves to be, simple does not necessarily mean easy.
The thing about the yoga challenge that makes it challenging is that it requires more than just showing up, moving your body and getting exercise. Yoga in its essence is more than exercise; it is a science developed over two thousand years ago that essentially tunes all of the strings of the instrument of your body. The physical asana tones the muscles, reorganizes the optimal alignment of your skeletal structure all while purifying your organs and tuning the circulatory and nervous systems. Practicing awareness of the breath and going a step further using specific breath techniques (pranayama) tunes the energetic chords (nadis) of your body of which there are thousands and thousands. All of this work combined brings more balance to the hemispheres of your brain as well as the (vayus) subtle energy flows of your body. Include into these practices the more esoteric qualities of yoga, such as mantra, chanting and a meditative focus rooted in the expansion of your spacious heart and undying spirit, not only will you tune the physical body but you will also invite a deeper resonance and harmony with the greater energetic essence that breathes all life.
Doing these practices once a month, once a week, or even once in a lifetime is difficult for many people. Over time and depending on ones personal taste for this type of experience delight may be discovered in practicing three, four, five or even seven days a week, however this is not the common approach to yoga. The common approach to life these days is doing what we have time for, and filling our schedules so full there is rarely time for self.
The Spring Yoga Challenge is an invitation to time with self and this year calls for the completion of 21 classes in 30 days, which relatively equals five and a quarter classes per week. Though at first glance it may sound simple, this can be an extraordinary feat to accomplish in an already full schedule…so why would you do it?
Committing to this kind of practice is not only a boon for your physical health, which will inevitably benefit from the asana practice alone, it is an incredible way to get to know yourself better on every level. The spring yoga challenge invites you to learn your own personal needs for a happy healthy well-balanced life on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes, as well as how to fulfill those needs regularly. In staying the course you are rewarded not only by Shree on the 7th, 14th, and 21st classes, but also in the deeply personal knowing of your ability to follow through on your commitment. Should you find success in your follow through and complete this simple yet challenging commitment you will find yourself most sweetly gifted with a deeper yoga practice and ever more willingness to meet other challenges in your life with excitement and an inner understanding of the metaphysical nature of the gift challenges present you with…that each challenge is in fact a path to deeper peace.
So the question really is… are you up to it?
To tell you the truth I don’t know if I am, however I am going to give it a try anyways because I know that in the willingness to try is a reflection of my courage. You too can sign up any day in April and for $107.00 you have 30 days from that day forward complete your 21 classes, all classes on the Shree schedule are available to you. I hope to see you in class through all the laughter, sweat, and sometimes tears.
With Love, All Ways, For Giving,