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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Letter from Publishers, September 2015

Aug 31, 2015 04:44PM

It is human nature to explore origin and destiny, utilizing faith and free will to navigate change and the passing of time. Fortunately, glimpses of infinity that filter through daily doses of truth and beauty hint at a continuum of existence that far surpasses this earthly plane.

The simple act of breathing into the moment awakens the senses, capturing that delicate cusp where holding on and letting go meet up and open the door to an ever-present now. Years ago, when I was seeking a context for my reality and a sense of much needed grounding, the philosophy of yoga introduced me to what moving in mindfulness could do for discovering an embodiment of life I had never known. Sacred practices are sustained by the characteristic nature of their own simplicity; for those fortunate enough to catch on, the positive effects endure.

Recently, we saw the biographical film Awake: The Life of Yogananda, which portrays the story of Paramahansa Yogananda’s life journey, including his bringing yoga and meditation to the Western world in the 1920s. The film reveals the timeliness of the spiritual seed that Yogananda planted in this country when he arrived. Millions of copies of his Autobiography of a Yogi have sold worldwide. The immersive classic, popular among spiritual seekers worldwide, communicates the timeless ideals that have catalyzed personal transformation and self-realization throughout the ages.

As an adventure of mind and body, yoga has evolved into a mix of styles that bridge cultures, generations and institutions, and enable the prioritization of self-time to pause, breathe, stretch, hold and let go. Widespread acceptance has progressed, as valuable research consistently evidences the yoga’s vast benefits. As highlighted in Meredith Montgomery’s “Yoga Enters the Medical Mainstream,” on page 29, the practice is now gaining ground as part of healthcare.

Breath awareness and focus are two yogic principles that work in tandem to override negativity and malaise, opening the body to an equilibrium and mental poise most aligned with making vibrant life choices. It is not surprising that this ancient system is becoming a respected part of the Western medical scene, earning its rightful place among practitioners’ prescriptive repertoire and subtly transcending the need for invasive and chemical treatment options.

This invigorating issue is full of opportunities for accessing spirited poses on the mat and off, strengthening a youthful mindset of flexibility and ease. We hope you enjoy the plethora of local and national resources that provide tools to instill the healthy lightness of being among those that are young at heart. Regardless of age or physical condition, we all deserve that little slice of heaven on earth.

Namaste

~Jacqueline & Kendra

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