Since I have been back in Rhode Island, I have only taught one yoga class that was my workshop, "Reawakening the Authentic Self through Yoga and Sound Bath."
We discussed two deep moments of grace, Anugraha and Kripa.
Anugraha means of what holds and supports you and Kripa means to be lovingly pushed into the direction of your highest self.
When taking this into a yoga practice, there are moments where Anugraha sets in, maybe in a childs pose, your favorite pose or seated. You feel supported by the earth maybe even nurtured by it. What joy, to be in a yoga practice, on your mat, in full feeling.
Kripa, is those moments in yoga practice that are simply tough. "How much longer can I hold Warrior 2? my arms are going to fall off!!." "I can't go into a hand stand, there is no way!"
There are moments where our mind will literally get in the way of our body. It will give every excuse, every fear, every horrible scenario as to why you shouldn't be or go into a pose. With breath and patience, Kripa "pushes" us a little further into what we thought was impossible. Kripa teaches us "Just go one more breath", "It's ok to try and fall and try again."
We are way too hard on ourselves in yoga asana. It is very hard to separate our working minds, our labels, our responsibilities from our yoga mat.
For the 9 years I have taught, I have seen people walk in, in all different states of mind. I see people clenching their teeth in a pose, have a hard face in savasana and get angry at themselves for falling. Yes, this is all a part of our path, to learn, grow and not judge. I must say, yoga asana does a wonderful job of making us vulnerable, stripping down hardened layers that have built over the years. We all bring our stories onto the mat, what makes us ache for something more each day than just existing.
In my own personal practice,on or off the mat, I realize I need to go through Kripa to even reach Anugraha. Sometimes if I just soften my face in Warrior 2, it begins to soften the whole pose. Right then I make a choice, I can lower my arms OR I can be challenged by Kripa to soften the parts that I am holding onto. In response, (Anugraha) I receive softening, a beautiful support from the earth, a few more deep breaths into myself, and then we are flowing again into the next pose… Beautiful.
Each time I step onto my mat, I am either being challenged by my mind or my body. Sometimes my mind doesn't show up until after my practice, and that's ok. Sometimes my body is flailing all over the place, and I laugh or get frustrated. But each moment, is MY MOMENT, with MY SELF, to experience, to grow, to be present.
I ask you to do the same.
I suggest, bring your worries, pains, joys, anger, gratefulness, heartache to your mat. Bring feeling and emotion. Bring Anugraha and Kripa to your mat. Allow yourself to be supported when you need it, and allow yourself to be lovingly pushed so you can step into your more authentic being.
And then, allow your practice to still remain with you throughout your week. Notice how Anugraha and Kripa can shape your daily life.
How many times do you allow yourself to be supported?
How many times do you ask for help when you need it?
Do you allow yourself to be challenged?
Do you allow yourself to step out of the every day routine box to enjoy life?
What inspires you? What brings you to your yoga mat? What keeps you going each day? What challenges you?
Let's keep this conversation going, please comment!
Namaste and Love!
Author: Sarah Daigle
Sarah has been a writer her entire life. She has written lyrics for other artists and her own music, collaborated in spoken words, written articles, stories, poems and always has a journal on hand to note all the quirky observations that she sees.