Every action is preceded by a thought or intention. By changing our thought patterns we move towards changing our actions. Many times we are lost in habitual thought patterns causing us to act in ways we may not necessarily want to.
Meditation and mindfulness can give us the space to see these thought patterns for what they really are; mere concepts based on our own personal experience of life and the mechanisms we have created to protect or shield ourselves from suffering.
These patterns ultimately hinder us from experiencing the true nature of objects, situations and ourselves.
The same mental obstacles can translate to a physical misalignment in our asana practice. When we are not mindful of our movements we move in ways that can cause physical injury or strain.
If we are pushing into a pose out of desire to be perfect we tend to be unstable and do not receive the full benefits of the practice.
It is easy to get lost in ego patterns – instead of seeing each yoga asana from the vantage point of full awareness.
If we shift to the observer and witness mindset, instead of getting lost in the pattern, we can see.
It’s like riding a bike; when you stop peddling, the bike falls over. The pattern unravels. The mind becomes clear.
When our minds are settled and aware in our asana practice the inner teacher takes over. The body goes deeper, the mind settles and becomes more aware. The feedback loop of Yoga manifests.
When we reach this equilibrium in our life our inherent quality of goodness penetrates out naturally. We begin acting from our true intention and self. This is alignment, which brings about grace, integrity and honesty. Our relationships and the environment around us begin to change and this is how we in turn change the world.
About Michael Starita
Michael Starita is a yoga teacher and light-hearted meditation practitioner originally from Jackson, Mississippi now residing in the Bay Area. Michael started his spiritual journey in 2000 after receiving emowerments and teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lati Rinpoche and many other Tibetan Buddhist masters which led him to his heart teacher, meditation master Anam Thubten. The mindfulness practices he’s learned from these masters in years of silent retreats serve as the basis for his yoga practice and teaching.
Michael’s classes welcome an inquiry into the mind and body to create space, wakefulness, and courage to let go of the thought patterns and habits that bind us. By aligning our physical bodies, he demonstrates how the same principles can be used in aligning our thoughts and actions to be more at ease and graceful in our lives.