Power Yoga is directed at creating the highest level of energy, vitality and freedom. The only way to do this is to work with yourself, not against yourself. By working hard sensitively, we create an environment that’s healing and that honors each individual, an environment that respects our boundaries and works within him or her. In this way, we create an atmosphere conducive to natural expansion and growth. We’re not interested in pushing past our edge to get to a place where we’ve been brainwashed into thinking we need to be in order to have happiness!
The fact is, we’re all different: different faces, shapes, sizes, personalities, etc…. We all shouldn’t have and can’t have the same bodies. Our life experiences and genetic dispositions make us different. Real health and vitality comes when we stop comparing and competing with each other, and start listening to the voice within that tells us what we need. We don’t need to have the “best body;” we need to have our own body. By turning off the controlling mind, we can finally listen to the innate wisdom that waits to be heard.
The sad state of this planet is a prime example of how we’ve stopped listening. Our egos and intellects have gotten so big we’ve become enamored with ourselves and our capabilities. Our great societies, with all their cities and technological advances, are monuments to the seemingly unfailing prowess of the intellect. But the fact is, our intellect is only a small fraction of our intelligence. By shutting down our other faculties in favor of the intellect, we move away from our natural balance. Hence, the state of our people and planet.
Picture a web, with all its strands interconnected and sharing its burden. What’s happened to us is, all the weight on the web has been placed on a single strand: the intellect. And we can’t survive on intellect alone. The web that holds us together, as humans and as a planet, is ripping apart! The cause is intellect ruled by the ego, which creates a very scary level of self-indulgence. This is a no-holds-barred self-indulgence in which almost everything else is forsaken. And this is planet earth, Twenty-First century style!
To heal our planet, we need to heal ourselves…because we are the source of the imbalance. We need to quiet down, stop thinking, stop controlling, and start listening. Our bodies are the natural world, even as we live in an unnatural environment. If we quiet down and listen to what our bodies need (instead of telling it), we can then feed ourselves naturally and properly, and become more in harmony with the natural world. All our activities and endeavors will resonate with this harmony and we, as well as our planet, can begin to heal. No longer will our actions be governed by ego or intellect; they’ll be guided by the deeper wisdom within. We can then use the intellect as it was meant to be used: to help us shape the wisdom coming through.
This brings us full circle back to yoga. Originally, yoga was created to facilitate the stillness in order to emancipate the wisdom. Some still use it for this purpose. Beyond this, yoga is a tool or system created to facilitate balance. In order to facilitate balance, the imbalances need to be exposed and eradicated. This can be a totally possible yet challenging endeavor, and this is where we start losing people.Unfortunately, many people don’t seem to want to do the work necessary to create harmony. When you spill something on the floor, you clean it up, right? You don’t want to live with that mess. Well, that’s all yoga is designed to do: bring awareness to the mess and give you direction to help start the cleanup.
From the first step in yoga, you start feeling better simply because your house has just begun to become cleaner or less cluttered. The move toward harmony begins immediately. You don’t need some blind faith that someday down the road yoga will enlighten you. The first class helps us quiet our minds and experience the peace beyond. This same first class helps us release some tension, which gives us a feeling of lightness, balance and connectedness. We’ve begun to restore the web.