Lauren Gamboa, Yoga and Art teacher
At The Sierra School of Todos Santos (BCS), students look forward to Yoga, our Physical Education class, in a beautiful outdoor setting. Our view is easy on the eyes and inspiring for the mind. From the school's shaded, back porch, students can see the breathtaking Pacific, with its palm studded coastline and mighty sand dunes. We appreciate the view while practicing our yogi breath and working into a silent, seated position. It's always a challenge to silence the inner and outer chatter; but nevertheless, the students seek to achieve silence as a cohesive unit. We recognize our attempt to become quiet as a point of pride and a work in progress.
In keeping with tradition, our yoga practice is a combination of mind and body activity. We work toward becoming more aware of what is going on in our bodies as we execute each movement. Using our breath helps us move further into each posture. We learn to lean more heavily on our breath, to feed muscles the oxygen they need to move and stretch. We recognize our attempt to become quiet as a point of pride and a work in progress. As entertaining as the sounds of our active breathing may be, we know conscious breathing is a challenging and vulnerable act that serves us on many levels. For one, active breathing nurtures our bodies and helps us move with more confidence and ease. Secondly, active breathing is an ever present reminder of other key piece of yoga practice: moving into a place of stillness within the mind. Hundreds of thoughts move through our heads in any given class period: from homework to classmates, to grades and matters outside of school hours. We are constantly experiencing our thoughts; and, as a result, we are constantly faced with a golden opportunity: to realize and express our inner power and freedom. For do we choose to believe our thoughts at face value, to blindly accept them as truth, or do we choose to meet them with compassion and inquiry? Through the physical and mental rigor of our regular yoga practice, we challenge ourselves to choose compassion and inquiry. We make the choice to feel comfortable in knowing the internal and external distractions are inevitable. How we want to place our attention and energy will always be our choice. We take great comfort in knowing we can breathe into the moment, follow our thoughts, and feel our bodies in motion or stillness.Yoga enables us to experience the beauty of the world within us and around us.
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