This month we continue to use the yoga sutras as guidelines to master the mind (because when the mind masters us, we usually suffer). Our April focus is yoga sutra 1.33, which Swami J. interprets this way: “In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil.”
Realize that the goal of this sutra is not to be a “good” person, but to stabilize and purify the mind to bring peace of mind. This peace, in turn, allows the mind’s surface to be as calm and still as glass (think of a mountain lake reflecting majestic mountains and sky) and helps us to reach deeper states of meditation. Because the mind always holds the positive and negative sides of any situation, we need to intentionally train it to the positive. We all have gone to the negative channel at one time or another—for example, when we encounter someone who is happy and we get grumpy and push them away because we are not happy at that time, when our plans get abandoned because our partner becomes sick and we get frustrated or angry, when we feel inadequate or jealous if we see someone who is acting selflessly, and when we toxify ourselves with anger and judgement toward what we perceive as evil or wrong.
Here is an awareness practice to catch yourself and then redirect: first, notice if you are headed down a negative rabbit hole of thought; then, realize that the ego (small mind) is usually the part that gets hooked by those negative thoughts. Recognize that the true Self (high mind) is the part that feels connected to everything, holds no fear, and is at peace. Namaste (the light in me sees the light in you).
April updates and special events:
- New class: Saturdays at 7 a.m. Are you a morning person who would like to begin Saturdays with a practice? Then come join Ashley on Saturday mornings! This new Basics-level class will incorporate Ashley’s Yoga for All training, which means plenty of props and modifications. As she says, it’s rated “E for EVERY body.”
- Yoga and Meditation opportunities at The Downing Museum. Join us in April as we continue to welcome spring at The Downing Museum: this month Leslie will teach the yoga class on Saturday, April 14, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which meets on Saturday, April 28. For details and to register, see our website.
- Yoga for All Series #4 on Sundays. To reserve a spaces in the 4-week April installment of Ashley’s Yoga for All series, which meets on Sundays at 2 p.m. and begins on April 8, complete this brief registration form.
- Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, April 27, Alice and Angie continue team-teaching the Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with exploration of selected yoga sutras. This month, our focus will be on sutra 1.33.
For a full list of April classes, please see the calendar page–or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. (Please note that we had three teacher updates, but no class changes, after we released the printed schedule.)
We also post a brief schedule reminder each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.
Accessing studio after class has begun: Remember that even if the front door is locked when you arrive, you can still join us for class. Just come to the back door of The Pots Place (look for the blue building) and ring the buzzer. The teacher will then unlock the door remotely for you to enter through the pottery studio.