I have been doing Svaroopa® yoga for about 12 years, starting after six months of yoga in another style. I took my first Svaroopa® yoga class with Tarlika (Margery) Anderson in central Vermont on the recommendation of a massage therapist. When I arrived on his table, I knew that I had a back but I could not find or feel the area between my shoulder blades. He said he couldn’t tell the difference between bone and muscle. I was “sort of” tense.
After five or so Svaroopa® yoga classes, I attended a weekend Yogimmersion with Swami Nirmalananda (then Rama). That experience kept me returning to her workshops at the Kripalu Center yearly as well as continuing to take Svaroopa® yoga locally, and I have now had a steady home practice for six years.
Gradually I have come to understand how Svaroopa® yoga has been impacting me. As I could identify the physical benefits, I increased my personal practice. I am an accountant, and tax season is the most stressful time for me, so that’s why I began weekly Embodyment® Yoga Therapy sessions — just on faith that they would help. Now each tax season gets easier. This past season, I noticed that I was sitting on less stress and throwing off any stress more easily.
I am more aware of the cumulative nature of the practice overall as I have added more specific practices. I have taken Foundations, specifically to deepen my own practice. Nowadays, in addition to classes, Embodyment® sessions, and home asana practice, I read Swamiji’s contemplation article, I meditate (with greater ease), and I donate to Master Yoga monthly. Donating to Master Yoga is in itself a yoga practice, called dakshina, which is the ancient practice of supporting the teacher and teachings in accordance with your willingness and capability.
At the 2011 Conference, Swamiji asked me to do seva for Master Yoga, but didn’t give me a specific assignment. At a Shaktipat Retreat a year later, I was vacuuming for seva, Dean Cilley, a former MYF Board Member and a Retreat participant, asked me if I would take on “an interesting seva opportunity.” I thought he was asking me to wash dishes next. To say that I was unprepared when he invited me to join the Master Yoga Board of Directors is an understatement. I couldn’t imagine how I would be useful but assumed that Swamiji thought I could do something worthwhile. As it turns out, I do have a unique perspective from my profession that is relevant to both Master Yoga and local Svaroopa® yoga teachers and their businesses. I deal with microbusinesses — very small businesses. Continuous, predictable income flow is essential to a microbusiness. As a Board Member since January 2013, I see myself helping Master Yoga with this crucial factor in financial stability.
As a student of Svaroopa® yoga, I want Master Yoga to continue to provide education to Svaroopa® yoga teachers worldwide, which includes my local teacher. As she grows and deepens her skills and knowledge through Continuing Education, she inspires and supports me and my fellow students on our path of personal growth and ever-greater access to Self. Master Yoga’s mission is education. Everything Master Yoga teaches is rooted in the ancient tradition of yoga, specifically Kashmiri Shaivism, a world-embracing philosophy and practice.
While Master Yoga’s fees are essential support so they can serve us and our teachers, fees for programs do not cover all of the costs of maintaining the organization as well as developing and teaching programs. Master Yoga relies on the generosity of all us who benefit from the teachings in a multitude of ways. Master Yoga depends on the dakshina of each and every one of us.
Click here to make a one-time gift, or click here to begin a monthly donation. Thank you for your loving support.