Longwave Yoga Blog
February: The Royal Path
We often begin or end a yoga class with the sentiment, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” This is something many people resonate with because when we genuinely explore our deepest hearts’ desires, we may discover that all we truly want in life is to feel happy and experience freedom. The United States Declaration of Independence says that all men and women “[. . .] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These are our basic human rights, and some might say basic “living being” rights. Yoga is a system and a science that reveals to the person how to live with sovereignty – how to become the ruler over one’s own mind and self. This system is called Rāja Yoga, or the Royal Path.
There are, and always have been, many sciences and methods that explore how to understand our life, why we are here, and how to live well. Yoga has been recognized since ancient human civilizations as one of the most effective and transformative of these paths. Yoga became known as Rāja Yoga because it led the ancient seers and siddhas to understand themselves completely. Once that self-understanding was fully realized, they were able to perceive the truth of life and existence, hence becoming sovereign rulers over their own experiences and minds.
In Modern days, the term Rāja Yoga not only refers to the state of self-mastery, but to the method of how to reach that state, which was systemized into an eight-limbed path by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sūtra. Patanjali graciously offers practices and detailed steps to reach a liberated state. But he also reminds us that the practices must always turn us back to ourselves. That even though we live in a world where we will engage with others, we must continue to look within for freedom or Self Realization. He tells us that studying and attaining knowledge alone will not bring us infinite joy, but that we must investigate through practice until we know without doubt our own true natures.
Rāja Yoga requires self-inquiry and exploration until understanding is revealed within. It calls on our intuitive knowledge and insights. May this ancient science inspire us to continue to turn inwards and discover that all that we have been seeking was within us all along. We can be free from thinking our life is a bondage that keeps us from traveling, from seeing the beauty of life, from hearing the sweetest of music, or tasting the most delicious of flavors. The infinite source of all beauty, art, music, knowledge, and creativity is within us. Dive deeply within, investigate through practice until you know without doubt who you are. Find freedom in ruling over your own mind and self. May you be free. May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Practice Peace Mantra--Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu--with Mary in this video:
Looking for things to do in Wilmington? Whether you are a local or visiting yogi, we have something for you! Follow the royal path toward freedom in these upcoming events:
Surrender to bliss and freedom in Restorative Soundbath w/ Mary and Eddy, February 4, 6:45pm-8:45pm. Enjoy two hours of restorative yoga, Thai massage, and live music that will leave you nothing short of blissed. Click HERE to learn more and register.
Join us for Asana Alchemy w/ world renowned yoga therapeutics teacher Kelly Haas, February 9-11. In this weekend workshop, uncover the liberation of the yoga practice in this dynamic and educational workshop designed for students and teachers to cultivate balance through yoga asana. Click HERE to learn more and register. Full weekend and individual sessions are available.
Open your heart to infinite joy and freedom in Logan's Open Hearts: Valentine's Day Yoga class, February 14, 4:30-m-5:30pm. This early class leaves plenty of time for you to fit in your liberating yoga practice and then share that bliss with your valentine. Click HERE to learn more and register.
Free your inner royal yogi in The King and Queen of Yoga: Headstand and Shoulderstand Workshop w/ Mary, February 17. 2:00pm-4:30pm. Come explore these royal posture of yoga with options for all levels! Click HERE to learn more and register.
Photo credit: highexistence.com