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Yoga for Life: Musings on Both

By Adeline Teacher Sachiko Willis

I am seeking.  Seeking further understanding of the multifaceted subject of yoga. Seeking  relief from pain and stress. Seeking a refuge from this often-overwhelming world. Seeking a deeper understanding of who I am.  Why I am here. Why yoga. Now.

Paraphrasing Guruji, B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga is a subjective and emotional subject.  I am lucky to have amazing teachers and colleagues who have guided me, but I know that, ultimately, understanding and insight have to be cultivated in the layers of my being through my own self study. It often grips me in terror and loneliness, leaves me feeling like a tiny organism wiggling in the vast expanse of the ocean.

Yoga being taught in a classroom is a modern phenomena, I’ve heard.  Traditionally the subject was passed down in exclusivity from a guru (teacher) to a sishya (student). Modern visionaries like B.K.S. Iyengar became convinced that yoga and its benefits needed to be experienced by many around the world. They spread yoga with the message of diversity and inclusivity.

Sometimes, it is in community—in a classroom, say—that we can find the tools and the courage to do the deep work on our own. Besides the obvious wish to learn more, I realize that I attend classes because it gives me a wider perspective, and the unspoken camaraderie among my fellow practitioners helps me feel grounded and whole.

Yoga has given me a “home” to return to over and over—a physical one in classrooms and studios, and an intangible one in my own bodyIt has given me an integrated discipline to follow and tools for self study. It has changed and shaped my body and mind in unexpected ways.  It has taught me about the intricate interplay between willpower and surrender. Above all, yoga has given me a faith – a faith in the forces that have led me to yoga, a faith in the process of self-discovery that is yoga, and a faith in my potential in this process.

If you are reading this piece, you and I happen to be in the same part of the universe at the same time, threaded together by the subject of yogaI am more and more aware that we need to work together and cultivate trust and faith in each other’s potential in this shared process of yoga, in this part of the universe.  Now, especially now. Are we ready?

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Sachiko and Anneke will be teaching Yoga for Life, a 4-month immersion program, beginning January 24, 2020.  For more information, visit:

Register by Nov 15, 2019 and get $100 off! 

Here are just a few things past students have gained from Yoga for Life: 

  • “[I] gained an appreciation for subtleties in my practice and regular everyday activities – my feet on the ground while I wash dishes. Whether my shoulders are rising up, or could roll up and over – and also what am I’m thinking when my shoulders are tensing up.” 
  • “[I made] a few friends and a better connection [to] the yoga community.”
  • “I gained the ability to construct a home practice as well as a surer footing in beginning an Iyengar practice.”