I can't even begin to get my head around all the experiences of the last week. Wanderlust Stratton and returning to Vermont was such a gift. A gift that I know that I need time to fully unwrap.
One lesson that I returned with was inspired by this mandala which was created on site with natural materials - pine cones and branches, sticks, sand, dried flowers - which I spent
some time admiring one afternoon.
I loved that
each piece had been placed so mindfully in order to create the sacred image.
It wasn't until in a class with Rima Rabbath (a fabulous teacher out of NYC - you should check her out if you can!) on Sunday morning, that I had my
"Aha!" (or maybe a Homer Simpson "Doh!" with a slap on the forehead) moment.
She started the class by breaking down the word VINYASA. Which was precisely the word that I was searching for when I had been admiring the mandala.
vi - in a special way / order
nyasa - placement
Each of the natural materials had been
placed in a special way.
This, of course, relates to the
ways we place ourselves on our mats throughout our practice.... in alignment, in patterns, in an order.
While we may most often refer to a "vinyasa" as the sequence of movements from plank, to chatauranga, to upward facing dog, to downward facing dog, and the linking of our breath to movement, at its root it's much more than that.
This was a great reminder to me of the depth of our practices and the traditions of yoga. That there is always so much more to learn and explore if we are willing and able to dive below the surface... beyond just the physical movements. Let's continue to go deep!