Yoga is a practice that asks us to look at ourselves and our lives so we can choose to live in alignment with our true values. The practice offers freedom, safety, and non-judgment to do this inner work. Embarking on this path is both an individual journey as well as a journey within our community and the world.
– Ashley Josephine Zuberi
Embrace the five pillars of yoga and wellness as tools for taking yoga off the mat and into your life. My aim is to cultivate a state of peace, grace and vibrant health. I believe every person is unique; therefore, these pillars will mean something different to each of us and manifest in different ways. These five tenets foster mindfulness, self love and self care and peace — a harmony of Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Asana is the foundation of the yoga practice; the body is a gateway for self-exploration and expansion of consciousness. Movement encourages an honoring of the body’s unique needs, limitations and strengths. The benefits of movement extend far beyond immediate fitness — it is also a cornerstone of preventative wellness and vibrant longevity. Incorporating a practice of movement supports discipline, strength, expansion and also release.
The body is a temple. Nourishing the physical body is one of our greatest responsibilities, and yet modern life makes it difficult. There is no right diet for everyone, so we must learn to listen to our bodies and nourish them according to our own unique needs. It’s not just about what we eat, but how we eat as well. Slowing down…. chewing… savoring… these are simple acts, but not easily incorporated into our busy lives. Honoring what our bodies are telling us, eating mindfully, and choosing the combination of whole, local and organic foods wherever possible, are all practices that elevate our physical and spirit bodies.
Pranayama, or mindful breathing, is a cornerstone of observation practice — a tool for developing the capacity for attention and mindfulness. Breath is a source of energy, relaxation, and calm. Breath can become an ever-present anchor into the present moment and pathway into our deepest essence.
Today, being “busy” is often glorified and considered a status symbol. We know that stress, prevalent in the Western world, is at the root of many chronic health issues. However we rarely have the opportunity to just… relax. In fact, Savasana (final resting posture) is often the hardest pose for many. Taking time to relax and let go physically, mentally, and emotionally energizes, balances, restores and revitalizes the entire being. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity!
How do we show up in the world? What energy, intention and contribution do we bring to our work, our relationships, our family and our larger community? Approaching and engaging with life from an intention of clarity, kindness and authenticity enables us to release and move into the state of grace that comes from creating a bridge between our material world and spiritual experience. We can love, speak and live with intention and from intention, bringing meaning and choice into all aspects of our lives.