On Sunday November 1, 2020 at 1pm, I will be guiding a yoga session for a charity supporting Huntington Chorea.
As it is an initial, one-time, class, I have designed the session to be an orientation type of approach. Yoga is such a big and comprehensive “map of the territory” so an orientation can be done from many different perspectives. Since, the charity is supporting a dis-ease with some similarity to the dis-ease I have been challenged with for over 44 years, I will probably emphasize the “wellness” aspect of yoga. Since it is a first class, I will also stick to the basics of “Right Alignment” and “Discovering One’s Edge.”
I completed my Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Yoga Center in October of 2006. I engaged in this 200 hour – month long intensive training because I wanted to deepen my personal practice. It was not my intention to become a “yoga teacher” or own a yoga studio. I had been practicing Bikram Yoga since 1999 and was realizing tremendous benefits in managing my blood sugar levels and overall health as a Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 14. Both conditions involve the immune system.
One of the most referred to “maps’ to understand what yoga is all about is the Eight Limb Path. There is a beginning and there is an end. There is an apparent starting point and there is a destination. Yoga defined means “union.” Ultimately it is the union with self and Source; Samadhi; The Eighth Limb. Here is an image of the Eight Limbs:
In Kripalu Yoga there are 3 stages to the practice. First, Right Alignment. Second, Discovering and Exploring Your Personal Edge. And third, Authentic Free Expression. These three stages mirror the three levels of wisdom that The Buddha expressed. Level One-Becoming aware of a thing or idea by being told about it or reading a book about it. Level Two – Engaging in Intellectual Inquiry into the nature of the thing or idea. Level Three – Direct Personal Experience of the thing or idea.
There is a five step transformational process in Kripalu that we utilize to cultivate mindfulness and presence in the confronting of a “pose.” The acronym is BRFWA. I will introduce BRFWA and cycle through the process a few times. The 5 steps are:
Breathe – Relax – Feel – Watch – Allow.
At the end of the session I have agreed to engage in a question and answer session.
Over the last six months, since the lockdown, I have been guiding a group of about 15 people in weekly yoga, meditation and map questing sessions. We have been getting together four times a week and have journeyed through the 8 limbs. We have also inquired into several other “maps of the territory” with the objective of obtaining a more holistic and holographic picture of The Reality of Things; Dharma. The last 13 weeks of our work have been documented on this website under the Atwater Group Page. Feel free to browse through this page as well as the many blogs I have written over the past 13 years.
I look forward to guiding this session and connecting with the participants.