By Bethany Huffman, AYP student
When looking back on a calendar year, it’s a mental return to the rhythmic feel of time. In Ashtanga, we move through the lunar calendar. Every two weeks in either a full or new moon we are afforded one day of rest (no asanas) and to use the time for fine-tuning intentions for the future or reflecting on the once hoped for manifestations of the past moon cycle. When moving through January, we have been tying up all that occurred in the last year and how all that was done guides us into our intentions or goals for the coming year. This is a vital part of the 8 Limbs of Yoga – Svadhyaya, that teaches us to dive inward and reveal our inner consciousness to continue personal growth.
Some of the dedicated members, teachers, and students of Ashtanga Yoga Phoenix gathered their answers in response to the following questions as we move from the transition that was New Year of 2022.
First up, Kris is in her yoga teacher training and gave responses reflecting the deeper work yoga brought to her life in 2021 and her visions for 2022:
Yoga in 2021 taught me that it's okay to feel emotional when we are not in an easy life situation, because in our yoga circle we can feel safe to express all kinds of emotions (for example during yin yoga classes). It helped me to remember that with an inhale we can be more self-aware of our future actions.
John, a long-time student at AYP had succinct and straightforward answers:
In 2021, I learned to be more patient with myself and everyone one else.
Hanseul is another yoga teacher training student who is passionate about her asana practice and has enriched her life in ways that you can sense in her words:
After 3 and a half years, yoga is life for me. The beginning was insufficient, but now it is my vitality and indispensable being. I started to want to be healthy mentally, but now I can be confident that I have become stronger and stronger not only mentally but also physically.
Reign is a long-time AYP student and soon to embark on a YTT journey! Like John, Reign kept the answers succinct:
In 2021, yoga taught me about sacrifice and how it can be used as a tool for growth.
Tom has been practicing for almost a year with AYP and is considered an important member of the AYP family. He took a more pragmatic approach with his response, focusing on the physical aspects of yoga (asana and pranayama):
In 2021, yoga taught me about breathing - it’s ebb & flow - enables the body to relax and stretch.
Lastly is one of our dear teachers, Ive, who has been practicing for many years and teaches our full-led primary class as well as some Mysore. With lots of years of yoga behind her, she has some straightforward goals:
In 2021, yoga taught me to have fun and patience with the process of improving.
While each person who responded to the prompts had a unique outlook on last year’s practice and goals for the current year, it illustrates the ideology that one spirit strengthens another. Over the last year, the AYP family has built each other up physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. When we find guidance through others, we honor another part of the 8 limbs of yoga–Satya, which is bringing the truest version of yourself to others. When we all bring our authentic selves to one another each day and practice contentment (Santosha), we build up the best versions of ourselves.
Here is to growing through the art and practice of Ashtanga in 2022!
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