Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yoga and the Urban Mystic


Darren Main tells the group of about 50 yogis that he has a mean side. This, as he talks us through Plank Pose and Chatarunga Dandasana push ups, then side Plank push ups on the right side and then . . . I don't recall, something else. By now, I have retreated in child's pose. After a long week, I am safe on the mat, savoring this practice.

Whether he is mean or not (I think not), I am here to hear Darren speak of sadhana -- the Sanskrit term for spiritual practice. The author of Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic, Darren traveled from San Francisco to Tranquil Space, my home studio, to teach a weekend's worth of yoga workshops. I opted for the inital three-hour session.

I first read Urban Mystic a year ago, and was captivated by Main's written voice. I also became intrigued with just how the long-taught Vedic, Upansihad, Bhagavad, Yoga Sutra et al. principles can coexist with modern life, easily and mindfully.

Darren asks us to consider what sadhana is for each of us and what we will do differently to deepen it. For me, it's living -- on and off the yoga mat -- a mindful life of peaceful loving kindness, responding to situations with dignity and grace. One breath at a time.

Thank you, Darren, for a beautiful practice.

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