I've been in a 5-day Anusara Yoga immersion with John Friend in SF since Monday of this week. The point of an immersion is to take the student deep in the philosophy and principles of the yoga system, a way of traveling so much farther into the heart of the practice than is possible in a 1 1/2- or 2-hour class. For someone like me who loves school, it is a combination of graduate seminar + recess: times when we're seated, gathered around John as he lectures, and times when we're on the mat, embodying through the poses whatever we just learned about. It might just be my very favorite way to spend my time. I'm happy every second, plugged in, present, drinking in the words, radiating out contentment.
It strikes me again this week that the reason why I deeply, deeply love this particular yoga is its Tantric philosophical underpinnings, that it all comes back to chit ananda -- awakening and bliss. Why do yoga? Because this elegant system provides the opportunity to line up the body and, as a consequence, experience awakening. Because it's the best way I can think of to be reminded daily of how we incarnate the limitlessness of space in our limited form, every part of us dusted with the miraculous. Because it reminds me that every moment, every interaction, matters, carries within it the potential to be transformative, to connect us to others and to the universe. And bottom line, let's not lie, because it's fun.
Yeah, fun. Even when a hundred+ people groaned yesterday at 5pm when John said, "1st side, janusirsana, again," we're all still in the room, we paid for the privilege of being instructed, we'll keep coming back simply because it's fun.
And that's what I love the most, that the yoga presents the opportunity to tap inner reserves of happiness every single day, that by sharing yoga with others, we can help others find their own bliss. For me this is utter perfection, to be part of something that celebrates happiness, and to have techniques for hitting, sustaining and expanding this great feeling.
Even when I'm standing still, I'm doing a happy Snoopy dance. Truly, what could be better than that?