“The literal meaning of the word Yoga is to “Yoke” or to “Link” back, the implication being to link the individual consciousness back to the original source, the original essence, that which transcends all mental and intellectual attempts at comprehension, but which is the essential nature of everything in Creation, termed “Universal Consciousness. While in the strict sense, Yoga may be seen as a separate discipline from religion, yoga and religion have been linked at many points throughout history and continue to be linked even today. In a manner of speaking, Yoga as a discipline may be seen as a non-sectarian transpersonal science or practice to promote spiritual development and harmony of mind and body thorough mental and physical disciplines including meditation, psycho-physical exercises, and performing action with the correct attitude.”
– From Muata Ashby’s “GOD OF LOVE: THE PATH OF DIVINE LOVE The Process of Mystical Transformation”
Am I the only one who scrolls past those amazing yoga photos on Instagram (like the one of the Sister above), and swoons at the body’s ability to stretch and bend in such beautiful poses?
Didn’t think so.
Even as I practice yoga daily, I still love to learn and see the journey of others who are also spending time with the art. With many misconceptions, yoga may feel far-fetched to some; however, it is the understanding of what it truly is, and how it brings our inner-self back to its natural state, that is important for the beginner to grasp. Yoga is not about being flexible, and posing like the ancient yogis who have taught for years. Yoga is a personal transformation process that allows the soul to grow.
It is health. It is vitality. It is challenge. It is comfort. It is ever-evolving. It is stability. It is healing.
Aside from yoga being one of the many healing things that helped carry me through quite a few humbling life transitions, it has also become a part of me. It has become a lifestyle. I am no teacher, nor am I proficient in the names and types of “sanas,” but it is through my connection with the divine in me that I have come to learn and grow in my own practice.
“What is important to me is my daily time with self, listening to spirit and giving reverence to my ancestors through the movement of my temple.”
You, too, can begin your own practice at home. Here are some basic tips, based on my journey, that you can alter and use for your own.
- Ask yourself, “why?” If you are drawn to the idea of yoga, what is it about it that draws your spirit? This is no trick question; this is simply an exercise to get your inner-self going. Once you’ve found some answers, then let yourself imagine what you think you can do next to begin your journey.
- Read. As always, reading books, scholarly articles, and quality blogs is a great way to pour into yourself with more knowledge. Knowing how something began, and how it has progressed over time is essential when we seek out a new art form. Understanding what yoga is, and what it isn’t is also helpful, so that you know what exactly you are practicing.
- Use online resources. YouTube is a great place to begin when it comes to trying out yoga at home. Once you find a channel to subscribe to, take some time to feel it out, and to see if the person teaching resonates with you. Beginning with “yoga for beginners” is a great way to peruse some of the channels, and it also helps to look at how many followers the channel has.
- Take classes. Whether you check out Groupon deals, or follow local business via social media, research places where you can take some classes for beginners. Don’t forget to look around for free classes in your area, which are often happening in the summer at local parks and recreation centers. If you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, keep on reading for the perfect place to begin your classes below!
- Practice at home. Daily, if you can. Making it a routine to carve out about 15-30 minutes each day to sit with yourself, and to practice what you already know. Perfecting those things, to your own level of perfection, is not only a great confidence booster, but it will also inspire you to learn new poses.
- Remember, it’s a way of life. It is about the deep penetration of your spirit, connecting that with your body, mind, and heart. It is a form of meditation. It pushes you to grow. It is never just about the poses, and having the perfect downward dog. It is always about how you feel with your inner-most self.
Check out our interview with a certified doula, yoga practitioner, reiki, reflexologist, and herbalist, Jasmine, from HouseOfGuru
How long have you been practicing yoga?
“I have been practicing yoga for ten years. I have been teaching (certified) for about 5 years.”
What started you on your journey?
“This is always a loaded for me to answer. At the time, I was in fear of how the “real world” would tarnish my inner childlike innocence. Fresh out of high school straight to bartending in clubs, I was seeking a discipline to keep me, me. There are many layers to yoga. I started with the meditation and the principle. Then followed through into fitting myself into postures. I did not find myself in a class setting as a student until some years later to deal with the contradictions I was taught while I was in medical school about what healing actually was. Once I realized I could facilitate a practice for people to regenerate THEIR OWN spirit, mind, and body via a classroom I began teaching yoga. Now yoga not is so much for me something that is done, it is less of an specific action and more of a way of life.”
Who is one of your inspirations? (Ascended or physically present)
“I was raised southern Christian Baptist, so traditionally Jesus Christ is the man to turn to because he’s died for the sins of people already. Yoga belongs to no one so I haven’t placed a diety in the highlife of my practice. As I become more universally minded I have noticed that there are energetic powers in every being. I hold several healing certifications. I’ve studied medicine and religion. Yet and still Pimp C is someone who I’ve attached to and found to live out his truth and carry it out to his death. I honor this because my personal challenge has been to express me light, use my voice and be more than ok with my own shine and how I feel. I have a long loved relationship with spirituality and black culture and I have understood…
I am not a pimp and I am a fairy.
– Inspired by Pimp C in “Player’s Anthem”
Also my man’s love for the me he sees is godly, close to my higher self, and that love inspires me to stay steady on my path.”
Tell us about your business & yoga classes.
“My business HouseofGuru is a healing arts concept. I am. For yoga clients I believe yoga begins where medicine ends. I offer a home care practice that is not limited to the physical aspects of yoga, but to create a lifestyle. We chat, we garden, food prep, etc. all with the focus of bringing an alternative light to ailments or medical conditions such as asthma, MS, addiction and more. My passion for birth works comes from my ability to mother mothers and my absolute love for the mechanics of birth and labor. For my mamas, and mamas to be I offer the starter kit to the continual healing relationship for mother and child. Photography, Prenatal yoga, labor prep massage, childbirth education, labor support, lactation support, placenta encapsulation, and postpartum care are the services I’ve adopted.”
Anything else you want others to know about you or about your business?
“My classes are eclectic, filled with hypnotic rhythms that slip students into meditation whilst challenging the bodies limitations. My healing touch is intuitive and well delved in the history of my foremothers.”
If you want to know more, I share my lifestyle via my text and products. https://houseofguru.wordpress.com/blog/
As we wrap up our yoga talk, I would like to give a special thanks to Jasmine for sharing a piece of her own experience with us. Also, thank you for sticking around to share space with us! We hope that you can take something away from this, and continue to grow in your journey.
In traditional yoga lingo, we say: