Our Path to Knowledge
We also offer three Pillars: Accessibility, Diversity, and Sustainability. These form the foundation of how we cultivate kula and offer seva.
The Twelve Practices
Imagine you are on a path, and you carry tools with you to help you along the way. Which tools serve you on this path? What lights your way? If you see this path as a method to go inward for self examination, and discovering ways to support how you move in the world- this is the teaching of Amara Vidya. We believe in the concept of the Higher Self, and use techniques of yoga to ensure that which serves the practitioner best. We believe in using a combination of techniques that cultivate balance in living, to foster and nurture the stability and strength to reach out and help others. In Amara Vidya, we also recognize that as we journey, along the way we discover ideas that guide us to stay the course. We see stones as a representation of tools to help us find those great ideas on our quest.
This description of the Stones and Pillars are suggestions only. We encourage each practitioner to spend time with these tools in a way that is meaningful for them. We learn that some tools do not serve us at this time, but later become integral to our daily routine. We teach a more thematic approach to these stones and pillars in a way that can be personal to each seeker.
The Stones of personal practice
- Pure Action
Stability – Our first stone on the path. In a physical practice, that we maintain the health of our joints and ensure we only perform that which respects our body. Off the mat, that we work toward that which supports us: recognizing the people, places and things that protect us from harm. That we can explore risk and challenge from a safe point of stability, and permit a freedom of exploration from a stable foundation.
Strength – The second stone that operates in tandem with stability. From a physical practice perspective, muscles must be strong in order to stabilize and move joints well. The recognition that vulnerability to other perspectives isn’t weak, it’s strength- strength of morals, strength of care, strength of an ability to challenge oneself and to remain humble.
Flexibility – A practice both on and off the mat. In Amara Vidya, we learn to approach improved range of motion and more open-chain kinetic practices AFTER we have built stability and strength. That the goal in any physical aspect of yoga is not to strain, but to challenge with a careful applied effort. We respect appropriate Range of Motion, and everyone’s natural ability or adaptive ability is OK.
Precision – A deliberate act of focus in thoughts, words and action. When communicating, to recognize that there is different meaning in the words we use. Intent is key, and striving to impart your intent clearly is the goal. One thing we here at the school stress is the understanding of “filters” or “lenses”. These are both impediments and opportunities for insight, depending on how and when they are applied.
Diversity – Different from the Pillar, we appreciate diversity of approach. This is about respecting new research, respecting others in their unique application, and being open to respect of cultural diversity. Acceptance of who you are and your background is a part of your journey, there is no need to adopt another person’s cultural identity or religion in order to practice yoga. That said, sometimes going deeper into learning the roots of Indian culture and practices can resonate with someone on a genuine and authentic level. It’s important that an appreciation for the “salsa” the mix that adds flavor and spice to life remains a part of your personal journey. To recognize that life is more like water, and that harmony is achieved through recognition that different things, ideas, even people will add to how you balance your life and your practice. Respecting that other people may find value in something you do not is a way to promote diversity.
Metta – A Buddhist concept meaning “Loving Kindness”. It is not passive but rather an active process. Just as kindness is an active form of compassion, to use metta is a form of service performed with a loving/nurturing attitude. Metta was used as a concept in Thai Massage by monks who gave back to the community that supported them.
Sustainability – Different from the Pillar, we appreciate sustainable practice. It is a recognition that to sustain is to choose a path of “enough”. Ever looked around at those who view the world as never having enough? For example, someone complaining that they’re hungry and there’s “nothing to eat” while standing in a kitchen full of food? Learning when to recognize what it means to live seeing the world as “good enough”. Doesn’t mean you stop striving, doesn’t mean you get rid of all of your worldly possessions- just learning how to recognize everything you use is meant to serve you. Also that every action you do is to not step on those around you but to work within an ecosystem of community.
Pure action – An active form of Saucha (a niyama in Patanjali’s 8 limb teaching), it is approached as more than physical cleanliness. It is also an act of examining that which serves us and those around us, and that which is “polluting us” or unnecessary (not serving us). It is also a call to recognize that which we cling to (or hoard). If Aparigraha, or Non-hoarding is the Ethical precept, Saucha is the discipline of application.
Equanimity – “is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.” – hence, why it is at the end of the path. The purpose of using the 9 stone path is to cultivate an ability to tap into Equanimity when needed. We maintain the quest for equanimity is similar to the sutra “yogas chitta vritti nirodaha” (yoga is the harnessing of the mind chatter).
The Pillars of action beyond the mat
Accessibility – Right now, we are proud to be a part of a global non-profit, Accessible Yoga that networks and advocates for greater accessibility in yoga
Diversity – we participate in communities and initiatives that promote representation, nutritional advocacy, and ecosystem. The Yoga and Body Coalition is one such network.
Sustainability – We ask teachers to come together and support one another, and to know when to refer out into the community, We are growing work with the Yoga Service council to build sustainable hubs for this type of work.
The Philosophical Experience
The Finger Labyrinth Meditation
How to use the 9 Stone Finger Labyrinth
Benefits of Meditation
Overall Sense of Wellbeing
We Specialize In
Private Yoga Class
Yoga Training 200 hour
- Personal Yoga Retreats
- Vacation Packages (non-yoga people can tag along!)
- Yoga Immersion retreats (ideal for teacher training programs)