The practice of yoga is meant to cultivate a clear mind — a mind fit for higher perception, a higher perspective, and ultimately, one that is open to be played like a flute by Love.
At the Yoga Shala teaching cooperative in Carrboro, we bring together highly experienced teachers in their dedicated practices to bring forth spiritual practices in ways that resonate with a student. We are here to inspire, motivate and instruct our students in our respective crafts. We have offered movement classes from expert practitioners and teachers in restorative, beginners, slow and vigorous vinyasa, as well as Tango and Aikido.
A clear mind is one that is capable of realizing the task of the human condition: to be free of attachment, desire, fear; and ultimately to be a pure light and conscious expression of Truth. This is a difficult journey to be on, and one that is not the natural tendency of the mind or of the human condition.
Thankfully, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offer an 8 Limbed Path as a guide to follow as we dive in and meander through the depths of our minds, only to realize that what we believe and what we know in our minds ultimately offers us suffering, if viewed from a higher perspective. It is indeed from a humble place of realizing how little we know, and how busy our minds are that we find any fertile soil from which to grow.
And the only way that we can realize how insignificant our thoughts/desires/fears are is to observe without judgment. Observing without judgment is a process that the 8 Limbs helps us to eventually come to discover, and it is here where a more lasting joy can be found.
The 8 limbs of spiritual practice as outlined by Classical Yoga are Yamas (non-harm, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-hoarding), Niyamas (cleanliness of body/mind, cultivation of contentment, discipline, scripture study and devotion), Asana (posture practice/body control), Pranayama (breath practice/subtle body control), Pratyahara (control of the senses), Dharana (gross concentration), Dhyana (meditation/intense concentration) and Samadhi (absorption/fully concentrated with effortless, devotionally-powered precision).
In this way, the practices of yoga are here for us to almost exhaust our mundaneness to a place where we become quieter; where we face our sillinesses head-on as a way of life, whether we like what we see or not. For it is in the place of seeing ourselves as we are that we can accurately begin to address what needs to be addressed in order to grow. This process eventually comes to a place of ease, where the practices are here for us to continue to keep ourselves clean, clear and walking day to day in a state of inner peace.
In this way, yoga and other healing movement arts are both a practice and a state of mind. The practices bring us eventually to the state of oneness. This requires discipline; a daily commitment to coming back to it again, as the world around us is always there to remind us of our preferences and fears rather than the joy and ease that can be found within through practice.
It is this motivation that brings a vigorous and dynamic approach to the practices at the Yoga Shala. The practices taught and lived within this growing, thriving community of likeminded joyful spirits are done with intention toward a higher perspective and with that comes a strength to see what is yet to be seen, to know what is yet to be known and find expanse in a way that cannot be put into the narrow confines of language. The support and honoring for the personal-ness of each individual’s process, along with the standard for seeking a universal perch, much higher than the personal process, is the established goal of the community at the Shala. With this, separation deteriorates, and a higher perspective is supported by the collective.
At the Yoga Shala in Carrboro, we are a community of lovers and seekers looking to find that which we could never imagine through putting our bodies and minds to the test…only to find the ease on the other side of the effort put forth. No one who has ever walked this path has come back to say it wasn’t worth it. The invitation is humbly on the table for all willing to walk the path with sincerity. Grace is always with the sincere seeker.
And it’s really a lot of fun to find it too :)
If you are interested in becoming a part of our coop, as a student or as a highly experienced practitioner and teacher, please contact Lyndsay at lyndsaybahn [at] gmail.com or 919.704.5365.