In the current climate of social distancing, most of us are practicing yoga alone. Even though I’m practicing alone, I don’t feel that I’m truly isolated in my experience.
For the teachers and students of Pranakriya Yoga, there’s an invisible thread that binds us all. I feel it every time I teach or get on my own mat.
I’ve practiced yoga for more than half of my life. When I first started, yoga was just about the poses. I wasn’t as concerned about authenticity or tradition. I moved from CA to MD and happened to find a small yoga studio run by Jacci Gruninger. At the time, I had been introduced to Kripalu yoga, but hadn’t studied to any great depth. I asked Jacci a million questions and probably annoyed her with as many emails.
When the opportunity to be a part of the Pranakriya teacher training came up, I jumped at the chance.
From the first time I met Yoganand, I could feel a level of authenticity that I’d rarely felt before. Yoga began to feel less like a new thing and more like an age-old practice. I originally got into the teacher training to deepen my personal knowledge, but I quickly decided that my passion was to help others bridge the gap between yoga as an exercise and yoga as a lifestyle.
Pranakriya Yoga is based on Tantric expressions of Hatha Yoga. Tantra means thread or weave. In the Tantric view of yoga, interaction in community is vitally important. We can enhance our own capacity for growth by supporting those around us. That thread is made of Swami Kripalu’s teachings, Yoganand’s deep knowledge and fierce commitment, all of the Pranakriya yoga teacher’s passion for sharing, and the students’ curiosity and openness to learning.
My yoga journey has been, for the most part, one of personal inquiry. What I’ve come to learn is that yoga offers the tools to deepen this personal inquiry through mindful engagement with those around us. I’ve found that being a yoga teacher and helping others in their own personal inquiries has allowed me more opportunities to share my own unique light and deepen my own knowledge of self. Enlisting the support of my fellow teachers has been important in this process.
What does the Pranakriya community mean to me?
It means that I know that I can use authentic yoga culture as a vessel for shaping change. I’ve been given the tools and provided with the support to do this. It means that I can help people connect through yoga to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Together, we are feeling and facing so much right now. We may be feeling all sorts of feelings from a wide range of emotions. Yoga teaches us to feel our feelings and stay present. We can use yoga as a tool for healing through these uncertain and challenging times. I’m so grateful for this community and sending out love.
About the author:
Eric began practicing yoga over thirty-six years ago in search of self-healing. He’s studied many styles and his classes are an eclectic blend of all that he’s learned, primarily in the Pranakriya tradition. Eric ma be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org