Judith Lasater says,
The most-revered ancient sourcebook for yoga practice, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra describes how the mind works and how we can integrate yoga into our lives. Patanjali's ashtanga yoga includes eight components of practice ("ashtanga" means "eight-limbed" in Sanskrit), and dharana or concentration is the sixth of these eight limbs. The seventh limb is dhyana, or meditation, and the eighth and final limb is samadhi, or enlightenment. These last three limbs are often studied together and are called antaratma sadhana, or the innermost quest.
Stephen Cope uses quest in his scholarly yet personal book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.
I've studied with both Judith and Stephen. They have taught me (and still teach me) to keep coming back to the deeper meaning of my practice. Yes, it's important to pay attention to posture to develop discipline, keep injuries at bay, and keep myself physically healthy. But what's beneath all of it is what has fed me for so many years - and keeps me coming back to my practice over and over and over.
If it weren't for the numerous teachers who have come into my life, I do not believe my practice or my teaching would be as rich as it feels. I was once told, "The most important thing you can do for your students is love them." I'm ever grateful that I can.
13 April 2011
I love you too, Parks!