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The Journey Within by Paula Heitzner

05/19/2021 6:13 AM | Anonymous

These past 16 months, although difficult and challenging, have also presented
opportunities leading to creative exploration of situations and of the self.

My time in lockdown pushed me to write and finish a book that loomed in my
consciousness for over 35 years, and helped me rethink and refresh the teaching techniques that I've been using for over 50 years. It seems that everything I ever studied (ideokinesis, polarity, continuum, bioenergetics, Reichian therapy) about refining the mobility and health of the mind/body began to emerge from the deep recesses of my consciousness.

With very few outside distractions, I went deeper into the inner attractions that
were life enhancing, physically, mentally, and emotionally, reconfirming
what I learned early on from the masters with whom I studied (Iyengar,
Muktananda, Vishnudevananda, and Amrit Desai).

Please join me on June 12 for Practice to Empower Personal Possibilities, where I will share my ongoing process of finding peace and reconciliation with the integrity of the body. Each person will have the opportunity to encounter his or her own truths and voice.

In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from my book, Yoga and You for a Year: From the Beginning to the End.

Yoga is! It cannot be categorized. It is an art, a science, a way of life, and an extensive comprehensive system able to lead one to the source of their own inner light and joy. The state of being happy is an innate part of life that is elusive most of the time because of the difficulties and challenges that this life presents. The practice of yoga offers us the way and means to connect with our own light and joy, and its philosophies show us how unhappiness is optional. Human frailties can be strengthened when we face our fears, make our own choices and decisions, and, with conscious awareness, practice appreciation and self-acceptance and recognize the importance of autonomy for our maturation. We learn from our experiences, whether they are good or
bad ones, how we must adapt and adjust.

Hatha yoga is not merely physical activity. Because the physical is clearly so much more tangible when compared to the mental-emotional or the spiritual aspects of our being, it is the way to begin our journey. Working with our own body, as we do our asanas, helps us to open to those parts that will benefit from this attention. We tend to deny, diminish, or disown the parts of ourselves that are weak, resistant, or painful. Yoga helps us bring care, concern, and compassion for the self, helping us confront the blockages and traumas that interfere with our flow of energy and are so destructive to our well-being.

Yoga has been in existence for thousands of years, developed and refined by the practice of those who were aware of—and closely devoted to—the source of pure cosmic conscious energy. It was very long ago when the intrusions and distractions of life were minimal, and these cosmic connections led them to the direct experience of the energy of pure presence. This was their tutelage and instruction, and today we are able to employ the phenomenon of those teachings through our practice of yoga.

One of the great attractions of a yoga practice is the promise of flexibility. We all know that being flexible helps us to live with physical ease, comfort, and freedom. We experience this well-being soon after we engage in a serious practice, evidence of the body’s need for stretching and movement. But as we get more proficient on the physical level, we are led to examine more closely the reasons why our bodies seem compromised at a certain point.

This is the perfect time to introduce my acronym of YOGA:

Y—why, O—oh, G—God, A—again?

When we start to pay attention to this question, we begin our work, the
journey within. Our bodies store and hide in vulnerable places what we can’t, don’t, or won’t process and resolve, creating damaging energetic blocks that constrict our life-force and healing capabilities. Here is where the true flexibility of our practice begins.

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