Hello Dear Ones,
Yoga rituals are the reason that after owning my yoga center for many years that one most frequent comments I hear students say is how SAFE they feel when they walk through our doors.
Because there is so much unrest in the world, I’d like to ask that we all make a conscious effort to not bring that type of energy into the studio. One way we do this is through the rituals we practice upon entering the yoga space.
These yoga rituals I ask you to do at A Gentle Way may seem small, but they make a big difference to the quality of your practice. Most other senior and master teachers of yoga ask the same of their students. We are in a grand tradition of honoring the space in which we learn.
Some of you are wonderful about honoring these simple rituals, while others may not yet understand how important they are to the advancement of your yoga practice, so let’s review them. The minute we walk into our Center:
• We remove our shoes, take a moment to sit down, and wash our feet. This ritual is not just about bringing clean feet into our yoga room, but it is also about consciously choosing to sit down, slow down, and wipe the world outside these doors off our feet. It is the first act of honoring our precious body, of gifting ourselves.
• If classes are already in session, we are asked to speak quietly in the lobby and the halls so as not to disturb the peace of those practicing in the rooms. Our walls are thin and voices carry. Please respect your fellow students’ need for quiet, as you would wish your own peace respected at the end of your class.
• We turn our phones off and leave them in the hall with our keys, shoes and watches. We do not bring electronics into the room. Why is this important?
• Leaving our phone behind acknowledges that the world can get by without us during this yoga class time.
• Removing a watch acknowledges that we are ready to practice mindfulness, being in the present moment, even teaching time to slow down.
• Leaving our shoes in the hall acknowledges that we are entering a sacred space where we practice releasing tension, not bringing the conflicts of the world inside our sacred doors.
• When we are in our yoga room we do not bring in complaints, worry or fear. We do not discuss politics, the latest murder, or who most recently pissed us off. We learn how to sit or lie quietly and bring peace into our bodies and minds, which will help bring peace back into our world.
• Because most of our students like to get their props and immediately take their bodies into Savasana, Meditation, or legs up the wall, if you want to chat with a fellow student, please do so quietly, to avoid disturb the peace of others.
• After class we lovingly, neatly, put all blankets, bolsters and props back in order by type, color, and style. We leave the room clean and orderly for the next class coming in.
We appreciate you honoring these rituals with us.
When we moved to this studio from our old location, our biggest fear was that we would leave behind the safe, sacred, healing energy we all felt at our old studio. But I am happy to say that we easily recreated it here, thanks to the cumulative energy of our students and teachers. Let’s all please keep up that positive energy!
It’s up to us to help newer students understand how important it is to have a safe place where they can leave the world behind for an hour or two. It’s important that we all take time to refill our own cups, and to understand the importance of yoga rituals in creating a beautiful, safe space for everyone.
We must give from the overflowing of our cup, or we give ourselves away.
Lanita Varshell, Owner/Founder