Freedom-what does this word, this concept, mean to you? Is it a complex mire of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? Or is it as simple as skimming off work clothes and slipping into your yoga skin? Is it going outside and breathing in? Is it putting the car in drive and breathing out? What’s interesting-and liberating-is how individualized freedom is.

This month we celebrate freedom individually, within our community, and collectively as a country. We will take this opportunity to explore this liberating concept of freedom in our classes to connect to a broader understanding of what it is to be truly free. Our yoga practice prepares us physically, mentally and spiritually on the mat for the real work off the mat.

Physically, as we open and strengthen our bodies, we find freedom and ease within the poses (asana). Yoga gives us the wisdom and confidence in our bodies to explore our lives in more expanded ways.

Through deep breathing techniques (Pranayama), we come to find balance and calmness to create a foundation of peace, and a willingness to release all that may hold us back from reaching our true potential.

Within our meditation, mindfulness and yoga nidra practices, we develop the ability to quiet the chatter that pervades our minds and in doing so, discover the stillness just beneath the surface.

It is in this stillness that we come to understand that we are, at our deepest essence, essentially free. Freedom is a state of being that is inherent in each one of us. It is a personal decision that gives us the courage to live, to the highest expressions of our unique selves, and share freely and confidently with one another and our world.

Eckhart Tolle says, “Enlightenment is not something you achieve, it is something you are, but have not yet realized. In other words, freedom already resides within you. The entry point is ‘present moment awareness’-the ‘Now'”.

What does it mean to you to be free? What gets in your way? Let’s explore the possibilities this month!

Have a wonderful holiday! See you at the center!

Mary Beth

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