So, yeah. Hi! Here we are. Life in 2020. Corona retreat. Welcome to the new reality, ever-changing in each moment, same as it ever was.
The importance of practice cannot be understated. The wide definition of practice can encompass everything. Sitting, standing, walking, talking. Cooking, eating, swimming, laughing. The yoga of music, art, dance, movement, breath, liberation. Present moment awareness. Gratitude. Slowing down. Stillness. Solitude.
What we have is this moment, nothing more is needed. We can use this moment in so many ways. May we shine our light from within to inspire those around us to be present, peaceful, loving, kind and compassionate.
Yoga freedom gives us the energy to practice daily, to serve others, to give love, kindness and compassion to all beings, without exception.
Yoga freedom is not dogmatic or bound to a single lineage or guru.
Yoga freedom has no physical or spiritual prerequisites, requires no fancy clothing, props or accessories.
Yoga freedom can be, and is, practiced anywhere and everywhere, anytime, all the time.
Yoga freedom is the connection to our breath, our bodies, our minds.
Yoga freedom cultivates gratitude every morning, noon and night for this life, this breath, these teachings, this chance to be here and love and grow and let go.
You don’t need to be any certain way to practice yoga.
Not flexible, not strong, not balanced, not skinny, not young. Not anything! It’s a practice, of the lifelong variety.
There are modifications and mantras available for all levels, from brand-new beginner’s heart-mind on up.
You don’t need to have anything to practice.
You really don’t. Not even a yoga mat, unless you really want one. Yoga is done barefoot.
How to learn without a studio? Books. Videos. Private yoga lessons. Or, go to a studio occasionally but practice at home (or wherever you are) every day.
Yoga encompasses lots of things besides the most common practices we see in the media, including service (karma yoga), esoteric practices (tantra) and contemplation of yogic philosophy (jnana yoga)—just to name a few.
Yoga doesn’t hurt people. People hurt people. Overzealous yoga teachers can hurt people with bad adjustments. Overzealous yoga practitioners can hurt ourselves by crossing the boundary of discomfort into the red zone of pain.
Know your body. Be gentle. What’s the rush? Where are you trying to get in your pose? Ego is dangerous. Yoga is safe.
Not all yoga people are vegetarians or vegans.
Not all yoga people are fit and healthy.
Not all yoga people are white and affluent.
Not all yoga people are hippies.
Not all yoga people are minimalists.
Not all yoga people are young and lithe.
Michelle Margaret Fajkus is a writer, yogi and creator of Yoga Freedom. She has been a columnist for Elephant Journal since 2010. A former copywriter turned school teacher, she is now a freelance writer, editor and translator (Spanish/English). She has self-published a memoir, a chakra guidebook and a mindfulness manual (see books). A native Texan, Michelle stumbled upon yoga in a book as an adolescent. In her early 20s, she studied Hatha yoga in Austin, met the Buddha in the Bay area and has been joyfully offering yoga and mindfulness classes and retreats since 2002. Michelle lives with her husband and daughter on Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands.
Birthday: 30 May 1980 / Astrology: Gemini sun, Libra rising, 6 Kej (Mayan), Iron Monkey (Chinese/Tibetan)
See Michelle’s Portfolio