Practice time at the Pyramid

The outer work can never be small if the inner work is great. And the outer work can never be great if the inner work is small.
~ Meister Eckhart

20160204_110208It’s amazing to think I’ve been here two weeks already at Pyramid Yoga Center–about to start my third. In some ways it’s as if I’ve been here forever, and on the other hand, the time is flying by. The days have been rich and full with practice. We start each day before sunrise, and with our flashlights, head down to the open air studio to begin our morning pranayama (breathwork) and meditation. The first session starts at 5 am. We’re up before the birds and get to hear them waking up chanting the new day into being. I love listening to the early morning… and all the creatures singing their hearts out, from the geckos, to the crickets, to the Thailand hummingbirds, it’s a real symphony of life out there. Needless to say, yoga in the jungle is extraordinary.

Five am is actually starting a little late by yogic standards. Four am is traditionally prime time for yoga and meditation. I think David is taking it easy on the group, but that doesn’t mean he’s not up hours before our first class doing his own practice. He once said he starts each day with 3 hours of breathwork before yoga… wow. Talk about yoga lifestyle. Anyway, after the 5 – 6:30 am breathwork, we meditate until 7, and then begin our hatha yoga until 8:30, when we break for breakfast.

Oh and by the way, it’s nice to be having breakfast again. At this time last week, I was 2 days into a 7 day cleanse which involved fasting followed by several days of just juice and vegetable broth. This is also very traditional. Yogis throughout the centuries have been conducting and recommending different types of purification and cleansing rituals to help promote an optimal state of wellbeing.

20160203_172135In one of David talks last week he mentioned how bringing the body into a state of wellbeing promotes a sense of happiness. He said, “It’s your responsibility to keep your body in a good state. We want to add yoga to our lives in order to improve well-being, which will in turn improve our self-image as well.”  When we feel good and we feel good about ourselves, we tend to be happier and more content. Such a simple formula, but most of us in the modern world have a hard time taking the time we need for ourselves to exercise the body and calm the mind. It is more common than not for people to prioritize their needs last, and let ourselves be swept up day in and day out sitting in the same position, barely breathing, only to wonder later why we are not feeling well physically and emotionally. This tendency without a doubt has a cumulative effect which weekly yoga classes can help us with, but really our classes are meant to encourage us to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. Although it’s true that I have made my whole life about yoga, I must say that it is really nice for me right now to take some time to myself in a supportive environment that is dedicated to the practice of yoga throughout the day with guidance and inspiration. David reminds us that “every deep breath is a step forward on the evolutionary path.” I am so grateful to be here.