Pace Yourself

The mind is faster than the body. I want to move at the speed of my body, not my mind. In asana practice, we aim to create a quality with the body and breath that we would like the mind to mirror. The pace we set when we practice has a big effect on kind of residue the practice will leave on every aspect of our being - the mind, heart and body.

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Lesley Desaulniers
Back To The Source

Yoga philosophy teaches us that we all have the same common origin. Although we appear in many different forms, with different qualities, we carry the seed within us. If we can tap into this, we can feel and experience our commonality, connecting us with all forms of life. The patterns and shapes that we move through in asana practice embody this philosophy. While things may appear different on the surface, at the core they are essentially the same. What the yogi looks for in practice, as s/he move from asana to asana, is what has stayed the same. What is changeless within these changeable forms?

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Lesley Desaulniers
The Endless

In the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that every asana is intended to encompass two aspects: Posture is mastered by relaxation of effort and concentration on the 'Endless'.

prayatna-shaithilya-ananta-samapatti-bhyam || 47 ||

प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्तसमापत्तिभ्याम् .47.

We hear a lot about effort in yoga classes, but in this Sutra softness, shaitilya, is emphasized. Prayatna means effort. Shaithilya, on the other hand, is the softness. So translated, we should go into the effort of Asana practice with softness. This softness can be found in the quality of the breath, in our intention for practice and the way we move in our asanas.

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Lesley Desaulniers
Prana Apana and Going Upside Down

Inversions give us new perspective literally and energetically. They root us down, hold us still and move us inward. Inversions invoke a state of consciousness that demands presence. This takes us closer and closer to our essential and true nature which is bliss. 

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Lesley Desaulniers
AM I LOVE?

"Do I have love or am I love? Am I alive or am I life? Am I conscious or am I consciousness? Am I blissful or am I bliss? Am I searching for ultimate reality or am I ultimate reality?"

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Lesley Desaulniers
Joy In Repetition

'Through repetition, magic is forced to rise.' - Sharon Gannon

On your mat, and in your class, you are not practicing yoga.  You are practicing ease.  Ease with your body, ease with mind, breath and emotions... The yoga practice is the vehicle that helps you to deepen the awareness of when you are connected to that ease, and when you feel separate from it.    The asanas are metaphors for the many different situations that we encounter in life

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Lesley Desaulniers