This week on social media we’ve been exploring Prana and Apana and the intimate dance between these two forces. Often in our binary way of thinking, we want to choose one over the other – we try to choose the future, not the past – we try to choose upliftment over grounding down. This is a false dichotomy and does not lead to fullness or wholeness, as many of us realize. Prana and Apana work together. It is difficult to even speak of them in turn – Prana animates our lives, while Apana roots and embodies us. Being rooted, we rebound with the upliftment of Prana. Without an anchor, there is no fixed buoy bounding on the waves of life. Without elders, wisdom traditions or a mechanism for honouring and learning of all of those generations that live on in us, we cannot properly blossom forth. Yoga offers us many mechanisms for honouring wisdom holders: the eternal elements, the five pranas, the sacred mantras, verses passed down through oral tradition. The incredible strength of the oral tradition, art and symbolism in India are what have helped to preserve and hand down the wealth of contemplations and practices as part of a living tradition today. Salutations to those who have carried this wisdom forward! Reverence for this cornucopia we lean into.
Grounded, we blossom forth!
In the Upanishads, there is described the energetic ritual of Prana Agni Hotra, offering the inbreath into the outbreath and the outbreath into the inbreath – breath becomes ritual. Breath becomes a seamless flow of inner and outer, down and up, self and other, root and uplift. From the wisdom of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra:
Breathing is the flow of the divine,
Where the rhythms of life turn into each other––
The eternal exchange.
Pour one breath into the other,
Outbreath into the inbreath
Into the outbreath.
Awaken to equanimity,
At peace in the play of opposites.
–The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, p. 76
Do You Know Anyone Who Is Ready to Delve into YTT?
We hear so many times that YTT is like a portal into the full array of Yoga Techniques, Wisdom and Living. This is so exciting and holding space for this journey through holistic Yoga toward Wholeness is why we’re so passionate about what we do at Akhanda Yoga. Over the years, we’ve had mothers and daughters graduate together, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, spouses and friends take the courses either together or following on through recommendations. As we move toward winter, it may be the perfect time for someone in your life to take the plunge and join us on January 30th for YTT 200! You know we’ll hold them in loving support and what an onward journey for families, friends and communities! Thank you for letting us be a part of it!
YTT 200 – January 30 – February 28, 2020
YTT 200 – September 24 – October 23, 2020
YTT 200 – January 28 – February 26, 2021
[With gratitude for the photography by Shama Photographie]