Yoga with Melissa 365 Moving at the Speed of Our Bodies: Inner Balance and Abundance

by Melissa West on January 6, 2017

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Balance and Abundance

Yoga with Melissa 365 Moving at the Speed of Our Bodies: Inner Balance and Abundance Brahmacharya and Aparigraha

As we come into the New Year we enter a time when we have excessive expectations from our body. We want extravagant gains financially, professionally, and for our lives in general. We desire unreasonable losses from our bodies in terms of weight, eternal youth or other physical changes. All of these are a form of violence that cause enormous suffering. When we know how to stop this insanity we will experience balance, equanimity and grace in our lives.

Today we are going to focus on two yamas, including brahmacharya and aparigraha, from Patanjali’s yoga sutras which are invitations and outward practice that promote peace and harmony in your life as you interact with people and the world we live in. It is important to remember that the yamas are wise characteristics that already exist within us. Through our practice of yoga, we come closer to knowing these qualities that are our True Nature.

Nischala Joy Devi translates Brahmacharya in chapter 2:38 as “Devoted to living a balanced and moderate life (Brahmacharya) the scope of one’s life force becomes boundless.” When we live a life of moderation and balance this brings focus to our lives. It also brings balance to our Divine and human nature.

When we come into the New Year with resolutions that are excessively demanding of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies, this is brahmacharya out of balance. This refers to the nonproductive expenditures of energy. Everything we do causes an outflow of energy. It is up to us to tune into whether our actions drain us or gives us energy. Brahmacharya translates as expending only the energy we need to live in harmony. Certain activities such as starving our bodies, over exercising, over exerting yourself mentally, staying up too late, overworking, expend a lot of energy and bring you out of balance rather than into it.

The final and fifth yama is aparigraha. This yama often gets translated as non-possessiveness or non-hoarding. It means to take only what you need. When reflecting on this yama, we can ask questions such as how much do I need? I am not saying that financial stability is not important, however recognizing that we have enough, appreciating the goodness in life is incredibly important to preserving our energy.

Aparigraha not only refers to our expectations for material wealth and fame, but also unrealistic expectations for non-stop happiness and joy in our lives. It is simply unrealistic to expect that this year is going to be all good. There will be good parts and there will be parts that are more challenging. If we spend all our time worrying about our future, we lose a lot of energy. Instead we can take the time to appreciate what we have in our lives and the world around us. Your life is far more valuable than any excessive material wealth can be.

The sutra on aparigraha is translated, “by practicing aparigraha, we discover why we were born” (Nicolai Bachman’s translation). Nischala Joy Devi puts it this way, “Acknowledging abundance we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence.” This is a pretty bold statement, one that suggests that without the external stimulus of our possessions we will have more time for balance in our internal lives.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Yoga Poses/Asana: Supta Padangusthasana or Hand to Big Toe Pose, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold, Cobra or Bhujangasana, Frog Pose or Mandukasana, Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold or UpaVista Konasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose, Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing

Props Needed: Yoga Strap, Blocks, Bolster, Meditation Cushion

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Today we focused on letting go of the violence of excess that gets thrust upon us and our bodies in the New Year. If you would like support in staying in that frame of mind this month, this is our focus in our membership community in our daily yoga connection, our live Monday meditation classes, our book club, and our monthly online retreat. We would love to support you in this.

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  • Carla Van de Schoot

    Frog pose! Nice!

  • Donna Stone

    Another lovely class. My word for Yoga this week seems to be delicious. Pure nourishing, sustaining, comforting deliciousness. That is what this class is to me. I’m not sure how I miss the notifications for live feeds on Fb. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the membership site?

    • Hi Donna, delicious is a great word of the week. I think you can click in the upper right hand corner of my FB LiveStreams to receive notifications (in FB). I should be mentioning this on FB when I do them! Namaste, Melissa

  • Teresa Goodman

    Melissa, I want to begin by saying that I loved this class. I have followed you for over 3 years now and have been a memeber for 1 year. I know this is your free class, and you should do as you wish, but I would not like to see more collaboration. I sought your classes out and your style of teaching after viewing many YouTube yoga videos. Also, I’ve watched a few of the classes you’ve done with guests, and I just don’t care for them. It’s like everyone is too nervous, too chatty and too much nervous laughter. On those classes, If you do more of them, I will just do one from the membership class. That’s just my preference and you asked for opinions. Much love and respect for what you do! teresa

    • Dear Teresa, I’m so glad you loved this class. Thank you for being such a loyal student and member. Thanks for your feedback on the collaborations. I appreciate you letting me know. That is definitely the benefit of being a member is that you get the value added classes! Namaste, Melissa

      • Teresa Goodman

        Dear Melissa, I owe you an apology. I should have trusted your judgement in providing us with a collaboration that was in the same style as Yoga for real people! I loved the Yin episode with Kassandra! You and she are a lot alike. I apologize for not trusting you! Thank you for introducing me to Yin Yoga. I’ll follow her on Thursday’s, but if course I’ll follow you on Friday and on the membership site! Sincerely, Teresa 💕

        • Dear Teresa, I’m so glad that you liked Kassandra’s class. I have been quite discerning in who I have been choosing to collaborate with. I’m glad that came across. I’m glad you liked the yin yoga. It is a fabulous style that I appreciate myself. Namaste, Melissa

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