Most of us have some idea of what yoga is. Yoga has become popular and commercialized. We know that yoga practitioners do various poses, develop flexibility, strength and possibly meditate. Let's dig a little deeper into what yoga posture practice can deliver. Yoga is often interpreted to mean union and refers to the union of the apparent individual with the universal. Another way of looking at yoga is that it is a process of revealing a unity that is already present. Emphasizing this latter interpretation can invite a more "being" centered practice as opposed to a grasping one. Yoga practice can be challenging and require effort over time but ideally we use our yoga practice to be entirely in the moment without living in the future and grasping for another more difficult pose, or a higher state of consciousness. There is the potential for a deep letting go while we apply effort in yoga. When a good balance between effort and surrender is developed the body/mind can more easily recognize unity. Recognizing unity can have far reaching impacts on the body/mind inviting relaxation at the most basic level and a deep, fearless letting go into life at the psychological and spiritual level.
The result is an open heart.
Sarvanga means throughout the limbs. In yoga this term has two references. One is Patanjali, who lived sometime between the 2nd and 4th century CE and authored the Yoga Sutras which had probably been transmitted orally up to that point. He is considered to be the root authority for much of the yoga that is practiced today. Patanjali set forth 8 limbs (anga) in the sutras that make up a complete yoga practice. These limbs are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, & Samadhi. Another set of limbs are the limbs of the body. When yoga practice embodies the 8 limbs mentioned in the sutras and/or when at the physical level the limbs of the body are expressing unity, the recognition of unity is invited. For most of us our experience is one of a diversified nature. We experience our bodies as separate parts and we experience the external world as separate, distinct phenomena. If we remind ourselves through yoga practice of the integrated nature of our bodies, we can resettle into the unity that is available to us at a physical level and consequently in the outer world as well. This recognition might come in brief moments initially but can over time become more continuously experienced and less dependent upon conscious action.
Paul has been involved in Bhakti and Seva yoga for over 20 years. He began his journey into physical or Hatha Yoga in 2001. The primary influence in Paul's practice and instruction style has been Godfrey Devereux with whom Paul earned a 500 hr yoga teacher training certificate in 2007. Paul's general objective is facilitating the experience of unity for practitioners. You will find aspects of Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa and Vini yoga styles making up Paul's approach to practice and instruction. This means that attention is paid to alignment, grounding, breath-body synchronization, graceful movement, the bandhas, the breath and awareness. The practice is applied with sensitivity to avoid injury along with enthusiasm to progress and overcome obstacles. Some of the benefits resulting from this approach include increased strength, greater flexibility, increased ability to focus and concentrate, greater stamina, refined poise, balance, posture, a gradual overall improvement in health and perhaps most importantly refined awareness. Paul has worked with students of all ages and vastly differing levels of ability. Know that yoga is available to everyone and not dependent upon flexibility or physical prowess. You can find Paul teaching Yoga in Staunton, Yoga in Wintergreen Resort & Yoga in Waynesboro.
All phenomena are unified and undifferentiated at the fundamental level but differentiation allows us to experience the world as distinct individuals. Creation manifests from the fundamental energy via the gunas and then via the elements. The gunas are Satva, Rajas & Thamas with each representing different qualities which together make up the unified whole. These three diversify into the 5 elements namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. We can use these 5 categories to characterize all phenomena. In yoga Earth means grounding and alignment. Water means flow, movement, give & grace. Fire means bandha or the energetic aspect of yoga practice. Air refers to the breath. The ether element is expressed in awareness or beingness itself. If in our yoga practice we cultivate awareness of and balanced expression of these 5 aspects of yoga, we can move towards a more balanced state and a deeper appreciation of the unity that underlies all phenomena. This can have profound implications
on the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of our being.
Private sessions can be useful for a variety of reasons. Beginners can get a solid foundation from which to practice safely. Advanced practitioners sometimes need an objective eye to work through a problem area. People with ailments or injuries who need modifications can benefit from private sessions. Athletes can use privates to design a flexibility routine tailored to balance out their overall regimen. And some simply prefer the one on one attention.
Paul currently teaches several group classes throughout the area. Check the schedule for class times and locations. If you have a group that would like to practice in a family home, housing development, church or public building, that is also a possibility.
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Feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries, or to learn more about our class schedules.
Serving Staunton, Wintergreen, Waynesboro & Surrounding VA Region
Mon, Wed, Fri 7 AM - 9 AM Staunton,
Sanctuary Yoga - Ashtanga Practice
Tuesday 9 AM Staunton,
Sanctuary Yoga - Gentle Yoga
Tuesday 12 PM - 1 PM Weyers Cave
Blu Rdg Comm College - Mixed Vinyasa
Wednesday 9 AM to 10:15 Staunton,
Sanctuary Yoga - Moderate Vinyasa
Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 AM Waynesboro, Birdseed Yoga - Gentle Vinyasa
Thursday 12 PM - 1 PM Weyers Cave
Blu Rdg Comm College - Mixed Vinyasa
Saturday: 9:30AM–10:45AM Staunton Sanctuary Yoga - Moderate Vinyasa