For yoga teacher Sarah Powers, asana is a doorway into understanding our own true nature. In the morning session of her day-long Insight Yoga intensive at the New York Yoga Journal Conference, she spoke of using asana to understand our strengths and our limitations. The journey, though, doesn’t end with asana – it’s where it begins. What your asana looks like means little. How you meet the challenges that arise in your practice is where the true practice begins.
She led us through Bound Ankle, Standing Forward Bend, to Down Dog, Sun Salutes, Squats, Bug Pose and Twists, and had us hold poses for several minutes each in order to nourish our tissues more deeply, and meet ourselves more deeply too. Sarah is a longtime meditator and her meditation practice infuses her teaching. The more we turn towards who we authentically are, warts and all, the more we increase our capacity to be present with whatever arises in the moment. This, she says, is what allows us to be less distracted, pay more attention, and to be more fully alive.