* Yoga and Happiness

I am excited to join Kyle Williams tomorrow at Awaken in Media to begin teaching our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program.  One of the first questions we will be exploringom symbol is “What is Yoga?” I’ve read many interpretations that have arisen from the original text in The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.

My favorite interpretation comes from Georg Feuerstein. He has such knowledge of the original texts and philosophy of Yoga and is skillful in bringing yoga from a very different time and culture, and making it meaningful for us today.

“The complex five thousand year old tradition of yoga is about a very simple thing: happiness (ananda). Yoga tells us that in order to realize lasting happiness, we must discover our true spiritual nature. This requires that we commit ourselves to nothing less that self transformation and self transcendence. For although our true nature, or spiritual Self, is always the same, it tends to be obscured by our conventional thoughts, emotions and patterns of behavior. The yoga tradition compares this circumstance to the brightly shining sun, which is ever radiant but periodically hidden from our view by drifting dark clouds.

Yoga Val

Yoga helps us to remove all obstructing (mental) clouds, so that we may come to enjoy the sunshine within. It is an extensive program of reeducation though which we learn, step by step, to live in the light of our true nature. Only when we have truly found ourselves will we be able to live in peace, harmony and happiness in the world. This is what is sometimes called the sacred life….

For many people, practicing yoga means to do yoga postures once or twice a week or even every day. Although this approach can yield many benefits, such as better health and greater vitality, the real power of yoga is unleashed only when we engage in yoga as a way of life, twenty four hours a day. Yoga is universal and applicable in all situations. It is first and foremost a mental or inner discipline. Even the postures (asana) have a spiritual purpose and must be practiced with full awareness. Every single yoga technique is a tool for discovering the abiding happiness of the ultimate Self or Spirit.” 

My gratitude goes to my teachers Nicole and Joe at East Eagle Yoga; to my current teachers at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health; my Sangha community of fellow teachers and yogis; and to Kyle for being my partner in the continued growth and evolution of our path of yoga and service to support the well being of others.


24 thoughts on “* Yoga and Happiness

  1. Oh I wish I lived so close to you Val! This post is beautiful and I can tell that you do practice yoga 24 hours a day! Kind, gentle spirit! I send you so much love and peace…and say a prayer that your teaching experience will also be one of learning 😉

    Namaste….dear Val! ❤ ❤


    • Thank you so much Lorrie! Teaching has been the greatest learning for me. I’m not kidding … I never wanted to be a teacher … Until I realized the universe and God was hitting me over the head with a 4×4 telling me to wake up 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A 5 thousand old tradition should remind us that this is a gift for us to practice. How wonderful for you to be apart of teaching and encouraging yoga for others.


    • Thanks Diana! It really isn’t about me but what I bring to uplift and enlighten…. Hope that doesn’t sound ego centric! I really believe that my experience and knowledge is something that others can benefit from. I take a back seat and let the magic happen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • More than a gift to humanity Tree … It nourishes and grows our own inner being. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. As long as it is placed into a separate compartment then it cannot truly be free…. And the wonderful thing is, that not matter when circumstances allow us to embrace it, it welcomes us with open arms and calls us home.
      Val x


  3. Oh Val, How fantastic! Wishing you blessings and light and a good deal of JOY along your new journey! I look forward to hearing more about all that you learn. You are a true inspiration to keep exploring.

    It’s so interesting, perhaps I am channeling your vibes. I just decided today to begin researching how I can become certified to teach meditation. (If you have any insight into that do let me know?)

    When we feel the beautiful ‘tug’ to share what we are learning, we have to go with it, right? Here’s to going for it.

    Wishing you peace, always and always ~ Allison


  4. Wow – what an honor and accomplishment Val – and I know you’ll be great at it – you teach me things all of the time – I think your students are very lucky to be learning from such a wonderful person and a person who will not only feed their brains, but their soul as well!


  5. As always Lorrie has found the perfect words: “I say a prayer that your teaching experience will also be one of learning”, I would say the same dear Val! I think your “students” will be luck to have such a kind and attentive teacher! You’re making souls lighter and fill them with peace, it’s an incredible gift and blessing! Take care & ♥♥


    • Thank you for your loving support Frederic. ❤ I am one of life's learners … like you and Lorrie both. Isn't it wonderful to learn and grow as we give to others 🙂 We each bring our own special gifts to the world to nurture souls.
      Val x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your interpretation of Yoga here, Val. x
    I bought a Yoga mat about a year ago with great intentions, but got frustrated when I couldn’t do any of the positions (I’m not even able to sit cross-legged on the floor). Knowing that Yoga is about more than just the positions, I have kept on with the practice of deep breathing and find that to be such a wonderful, centering, peaceful practice. 🙂
    All the best to you with your new training program! ❤


    • Thank you for sharing Julie! The origins of yoga is in meditation and breathing. The postures are fairly recent additions! So glad you are finding your own centering and peaceful practice. Yoga is about finding our Middle Ground not turning into pretzels 😉
      Thanks for the best wishes ❤


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