I was inspired to create this video by my own experience with practicing yoga. My first yoga experience was at the Breckenridge Recreation Center in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. With weights, jump ropes and medicine balls lining the walls, it was easy to believe that I was in a physical fitness class.
Fortunately, Erica was the instructor and she (like Sheri) is a spiritually grounded person with an understanding of the depth of Hatha Yoga (what we call simply “yoga”). I owe her a debt of gratitude for opening my eyes to the possibilities.
That first yoga class catalyzed a cascade of spiritual seeking that has transformed my perception of myself and the world around me, and that process continues today.
My hope is that I inspire you to look beyond the temporary and deepen your appreciation of the eternal, in your yoga practice and in your life.
Sheri Baemmert, owner and instructor at Prajna Pilates Yoga Beyond, talks about her realization that yoga is more than a physical practice:
“Yoga means to yoke. They used to put the wood yoke on the animal, and that would connect it to the plow. So that’s the connection, the unification. So we consider balance, unification, and control.
“I have taught aerobics since I was in high school. And I was teaching at the local gym. And the head instructor asked if I would teach yoga, cause that was becoming popular. And I thought, “Sure I can teach yoga.” So I got some books and videos and started teaching yoga, asanas. And I decided to do training and get my certificate. So Idecided to go to just a small conference in Iowa. The head guy there said, “You need to try Andre Lapa’s classes, and I was blown away. I knew he was the one I’d been searching for, like throughout my whole yoga practice, he was the one. And I realized that I didn’t know anything
“When people start out, thanks to our media, everything now is the physical practice. Commercials show people practicing yoga, DOING yoga. It’s important for people to understand, yoga is life. What we do on the mat prepares us for what we do off the mat. So your yoga practice, learning how to control your body, control your breath, learning how to control your mind, unifying your body breath and mind, your energy, is yoga.
“Yoga, bigger picture, yoga’s not just putting your foot behind your head, that’s important too, not necessarily foot behind the head, or handstands, but being able to work towards something. We use the physical practice to get to the energetic layer. We have myakoshas, shells, the sheaths of the self.
“What we think of as real, like our bodies and our mats and our cars and our houses, isn’t really real. What’s inside is what’s real. What we take with us at the end of life is what’s real.”
If you are interested in practicing yoga, there are a number of wonderful yoga centers in our community to choose from, and I encourage you to get to one. I highly recommend Prajna as a spiritually grounded center. The website is www.baemmert.com. If you want to talk about the spiritual path, I’d love to chat. You can contact me at email@example.com.