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Monthly Inspiration: September 2015

Keep Growing / Padmasana

By Tonia D'Angelo

I’ve always loved a good comeback story. Even in my own life, when I have experienced obstacles and challenges, I have always tried to take a step back and see where to find life’s lessons. In Buddhism, the lotus is a symbol of a journey of transformation from ignorance to awakening. The Lotus represents the balance of being fully grounded in the earth (material world) while simultaneously aspiring toward the light (divine). The Lotus flower has very humble beginnings, usually in a murky pond or polluted canal or waterway. It has to make roots where it can in the mud and then strive to reach the water’s surface to open its perfected petals to the sun.

In the same way, we need the impurities of our lives, the challenges and obstacles, in order to learn to grow with love, compassion and kindness and to be able to attain a higher level of awareness. This is a journey of realization: we are more than just our physical body, or mind. We are, instead, spiritual beings in a material world.

The ancient texts say that this world and this body are temporary, so it doesn’t matter if you can attain the perfect padmasana (lotus) pose. While padmasana grounds us to the earth as the femur bones root and the groins settle, the side body lifts, the spine elongates, and we feel the energy rising up through the crown of the head. It is a beautiful pose for meditation, chanting and pranayama. In Meditation, we start to realize that every experience in life is temporary and that it doesn’t matter if you cannot achieve the perfect lotus pose; maybe it’s a half lotus or sukhasana (easy sitting). Just sit with your attention on your breath and feel how the balanced and grounded legs open the petals of your heart to compassion and light.

A coconut and kale-loving wife and mother of five, Tonia has spent the past twelve years sharing her passion and practice of yoga with people of all ages and abilities. During her time both on and off the mat, Tonia has inspired students at every level to embrace a life filled with awareness and appreciation, balanced by bodily nourishment and spiritual inquiry. Whether in the studio, on the beach, or on her stand up paddleboard, Tonia has helped her students overcome obstacles by building spiritual and physiological practices that focus on health, healing and happiness. Her Vinyasa class provides the perfect opportunity to explore the movement and flow of yoga in a safe and open environment while introducing techniques to improve precision and alignment. When not teaching, Tonia pursues her calling as a certified Reiki and aromatherapy practitioner and tries to cook, dance and travel whenever possible. Please join her at kamadeva on Fridays at 9:30am.

KamaDeva Yoga, 15 Lumber Lane, 2nd Fl, East Hampton, NY 11937 Tel: 917.301.6919 Monthly Inspiration Archives