The Integration of Well Being and Self Reliance

As the Healing Arts are based in practical, efficacious methods to relieve suffering, promote healing and support optimum life so also are the teachings, trainings and methods of yoga. Addressing the needs of body, mind and life for over 5,000 verifiable years, its tradition of acknowledged practices, benefits and luminaries has sustained and outlived most civilizations for one reason – it works. Regardless of time, place, or culture yoga works, and practitioners benefit.

Rather than a new age, experimental alternative it is an ancient, time tested methodological system of integrative well being. How is it integrative? It treats wellness as the balanced result of all aspects of a person operating at an optimum level. Although it is older than any other system of well being, paradoxically it embodies a way of life 100% rooted in today. That is possible because it works at the deepest level of our essence as human beings.

Beneath our home culture, language, political systems, technological sophistication, ways of worship, favorite flavor, idol or sport is the common ground of our bodies, minds, and life. Below our beliefs about patriotism, politics, friends, enemies and the future is the realm of our deepest common longings, needs, aspirations, fears and suffering, hopes and dreams, challenges and possibilities. This is the territory of the various yogas, a hidden dimension of our existence and experience that dissolves the boundaries separating our common humanity connecting us across nations, continents, races cultures and even time itself.

It’s the place in us that is stirred by a baby’s face, a mother’s embrace, a brother’s love, a musical phrase, a breath-taking rhythm, a hand made cup, or an ancient monument. In those moments when we know we are all human beyond any of our differences, in time, culture, country, language or beliefs or just passing phases we stand on the ground of this practice.

The benefits of this way of life transcend pop, hip hop and schlock. It is so low cost that and requires so little distal support in the way of gear – unless you really want to be dramatically sequined – that it can at first appear unsophisticated and ineffectual - like an ordinary piece of hollow bamboo - until you hear a master shakuhachi player breathe a note into life, holding it, shaping it, offering it, giving it away until it expires.

Like breathing, these practices are rooted in the core of our existence. Like eating, they provide nurturance to every cell of our body. Like sleeping they give profound calmness and stillness to even the most agitated mind. Like loving, they open the doors of the heart to a brighter day, and replenish the will to live, the passion to reach out to others and the joy in giving away our very best efforts.