Dedicate Your Practice, Dedicate Your Life


By: Gaia Staff  |  March 31, 2014

ded·i·cate [v.ded-i-keyt;adj.ded-i-kit] To set apart and consecrate for a sacred purpose.

At the beginning of a typical yoga class, you’ll usually be asked to either set your intention or dedicate your practice to something or someone. This is part of what makes yoga unique to other physical activities or exercise classes. You do not usually set aside time prior to a kickboxing or a Zumba class, but doing so before a yoga practice helps to center us. It allows us time to be still and to contemplate, or mediate on, why we came to do what we are about to do. Why am I practicing yoga today? It challenges us to be present in what we are doing, on and off the yoga mat.

In whatever we are doing, we can meditate and turn our thoughts toward anything. Meditation is contemplation. In Eastern Philosophy, many set their intention on deities or Self. Alternatively, many different organizations and religious groups incorporate aspects of yoga to dedicate their own practice, life and worship. Some religions focus on the gods and goddesses of Indian Mythology, and others, such as Christians, turn their focus to Jesus as they practice. dedicating this set apart time for a sacred purpose.

Remember the definition of yoga: yoga is to unite or to yoke. Yoke is defined as joining together. This wonderful gift of yoga is meant to “bring together,” whether speaking about uniting our beliefs with our movements and meditation practice, uniting one to another, bringing together our breath with postures or joining together our mind, body and spirit. This is an inclusive practice, never to be an exclusive practice. So no matter what your belief system or your background–sex, race, religion, or any other factor–you are welcome and accepted in yoga, just as you are.

The definition of dedicate, once again, is to set apart and consecrate for a sacred purpose. Take time to ponder this definition. What do you hope to achieve in the time that you set aside? Dedicate your time on the mat to whomever and whatever you want. Meditate on the immense blessings that you have to be thankful for in your life and devote your time to something much bigger than yourself. If I have friction in my life, I come to my mat and simply exhale as I create space for the new. Whatever the “new” is, I visualize that coming into my life on my next inhalation. I encourage you to create space by exhaling the old and inhaling the “new”; mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.

Perhaps you decide take this practice of dedication and devotion off your mat. What would you like to dedicate your day to? Furthermore, what might you dedicate your life to? This is a big question, I know. We so often just go through the motions. Pretty soon we find that our life is going by faster and faster. Yoga encourages us to be present and aware more than any other physical activity available.

Use your practice to become more focused and more keenly aware of what you may want to devote your life’s work to. It will be much bigger than you. It may even scare you once you receive the answer, but that is when you will know you are on the right track. We live in a hurting world and there is so much that you can do to extend your light to others. Start asking about dedication and devotion, set apart time for your sacred purpose.


 

Michelle Thielen

Michelle Ann Thielen is originally from Portland, Oregon where she first discovered yoga through dance.She has been dancing since the age of 5. She has professionally danced and choreographed in numerousvenues including professional athletic teams as the NBA and WNBA.
Michelle first discovered yoga in 1990 when she implemented it into her dance primarily for injury prevention, but throughout her studies and practice of various styles, her love of yoga, and community, led into a passion for sharing the gift of with others.
She has studied Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Restorative/Yin, Pre & Post Natal, Children’s Yoga, and many other styles through various trainings and yogi masters. She holds a Certification through The American Council of Exercise, is a Registered Master Yoga Trainer and the Founder and Trainer of NW Yoga Academy, as well as  the Non­Profit Ministry YOGAFAITH, which is a faith centered. Michelle is a Health & Wellness author for The Seattle & Tacoma Examiner and is active in sharing the numerous benefits of yoga to the World as a prAna Influencer.
Website: www.northwestyogaacademy.com, nwyogaacademy.blogspot.com
Facebook: Northwest Yoga Academy
Twitter: @NWYogaAcademy
Pinterest: NW Yoga Academy


 

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