tenets

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Your essence is unconditional love

According to Vedanta, our true self, the atman, lives at the center of our hearts. Likened to soul or spirit, atman is the eternal, pure, infinite intelligence that exists within each of us. When we untangle from the web of our egos and connect with atman, our hearts naturally want to extend outwards. 

 

We begin to recognize that we are love and that unconditional love is the most powerful force in the universe. Free from judgment and beyond fear, unconditional love is without control or manipulation.  It is the inherent recognition that you are lovable and that it is possible to relate to the world from a place of love.

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We believe in the power of yoga to heal

Each of us has a unique history, background and set of circumstances. Yoga offers an individualized path to healing.  The experience is different for everyone. Healing is not linear.  It is not clean and crisp, nor is it ever finished. 

 

True healing is messy.  It asks us to confront the most tender parts of ourselves, to be vulnerable in community with others, and to learn how to love the many facets of who we are.  

 

Yoga heals injuries and keeps us connected to the wisdom of our bodies.  It helps us build strength and confidence, and offers tools to maintain a clear and relaxed mind. It builds our capacity to feel and work with our emotions and keeps our energy flowing.

Yoga changes the world through transforming individual lives

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The goal of yoga is to know our selves.  Erich Shiffman wrote in his book, The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness, “if you want to know who you truly are you must let go of everything you think you know about yourself”.

 

When, as individuals, we begin to take responsibility for ourselves, to take care of our minds and bodies, and to recognize that we are responsible for our actions, it becomes no longer possible to blame or condemn others for our situation.  

 

We start to realize that we are the only ones who can uplift ourselves and an informed confidence guides our actions, leaving us less dependent on others and more in control of our lives. 

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No one is free until we are all free

Our liberation as a whole must include the liberation of black lives.  The history of our country, rooted in slavery and oppressive, violent power dynamics that value whiteness over all else has to be acknowledged and confronted in order to move forward.  This is challenging yet necessary. 

 

Yoga offers us incredible tools to confront the truth and transcend socialized patterns of perfectionism, shame, anti-blackness, racism, and self-hatred that have, for far too long, kept us stuck and separate.

The world is full of suffering and full of beauty. Until we realize our part in both, we remain disconnected from the truth. The tenet “no one is free until we are all free”, a quote from Fannie Lou Hamer, acknowledges our inter-dependence.

 

When we use the tools of yoga and meditation to explore who we are, we recognize our connection to others, that our well-being depends on their well-being, and that their well-being depends on our well-being.