Every Monday through Thursday around 7-10 people get together to practice yoga in the oldest house in the Kendall area, the Dice House. This little house on the corner of Continental Park is not only a historical site, but now, over the past year, a place of refuge for those of us who get together for evening practice. Most who come have never practiced yoga before. As one of the instructors, it has been a wonderful thing to see people new to yoga take up this ancient practice and in the process grow stronger, more flexible, and more at peace.
Our practice does not have fancy accoutrements. Our room is not heated. There are no acroyoga slings to use. Instead, we each bring our mats and practice the best we can, honoring our boundaries and limitations. For someone peeking in, the class is supremely basic. For those of us on the mat, what sometimes happens is a spacious opening of the heart and mind that is difficult to describe in words.
The one hour or so of movement coupled with an awareness of breath helps reset the mind, allowing it to find a more quiet and still point from where to observe life within and without. In a time such as this, where there’s often so much political discord, violence, and overall hardship for so many people, the possibility of becoming still and at peace, even for a brief point, if that’s all we get, is a tremendous gift.
A couple of days ago was Gandhi’s birthday (Oct 2). He once said,
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
I don’t believe that one hour of yoga will change the world, but I know that one hour of yoga every day has changed me. Yes, I can now touch my toes, twist my body in unexpected ways, and almost hold a handstand, but these expressions of the body are minuscule compared to the greater shifts I notice within.
As I talk to those of you who come to the Dice House, I hear much the same testimony. There’s a change happening. The change is subtle. But the change is real. Our little refuge is one of many places where people are realigning with themselves, with their breath, with the source of their life which is life itself. This is a hopeful sign.
For those of you reading this, Maribel and I invite you to join us in our practice if you have not tried it. Even if all you can do is sit and breathe together, doing so with deep awareness, kindness, and compassion will go a long way in offering you your heart’s deepest longing and desire.
Love and peace to all.
We wanted to include a section of articles that may be of use and interest to you. These are mostly health related.
The news for all Americans when it comes to exercise is not good. This fact becomes more relevant as we age. We all need to move more!
Exercise is not only good for your muscles, it also helps you stay mentally sharp.
Being unfit is almost as bad as smoking regarding long term health. The findings are startling and a powerful reminder to get off our chairs more and get the heart pumping.