Happy Independence Day, dear yogis! What does freedom mean to you? How does yoga help you to attain and maintain freedom? Freedom from stress, freedom of movement, freedom from the illusion of separateness… What other kinds of freedom does yoga bring you?
Recently, yoga was in the news. You may have heard that two parents sued the Encinitas Union School District in California over “civil rights violations resulting from its inherently and pervasively religious Ashtanga yoga program.” Earlier this week, the judge ruled that yoga is not religious and the program can continue in the schools. About thirty Encinitas families opted out of the yoga program. These people exercised their freedom to exclude their children from school-based yoga on religious grounds, even though the instructors stripped the lessons of any even remotely spiritual innuendos.
While there is more spirituality in the yoga classes that I teach, I strive to present the philosophy in a universally acceptable manner. Many of the yogic concepts easily translate into our practice both on and off the mat without a need to allude to a religion or any deities. In my yoga classes, you receive a straightforward experience of applying various aspects of yoga philosophy while learning the nuances of the asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing practices). Freedom from dogma!
Freedom to believe. Freedom to breathe. Freedom to be.
May all beings be happy and free.
© 2013 Amy Dara Hochberg. All rights reserved.