bethesda teacher feature

eden defendini

although i attribute my personal journey into yoga to the the first classes i stepped into on my own as a teenager, i harbor fond memories of practicing vrksasana (tree pose) with my mom and sister in the famiily room of our old house when we were small kids. i can remember the three of us standing in the a small circle facing one another, balancing on one leg and holding our hands in anjali mudra in front of our hearts. although my family is now scattered across the united states, we all maintain our own personal ites to yoga. my brother is seattle goes on and off with a vigorous asana practice, my sister in michigan attends a regular practice with a group who follow a generally set asana flow every week set to a musical theme of the month with very little if any verbal cues from an instructor. my father has become a dedicated practioner in new york city wehre he attends multiple classes every week, and my mother practices sun salutations at home while listening to the podcasts of tara brach from the insight meditation community of washington, dc. despite these ties to a common practice – the individuals of my family each see their practice from a different perspective, and perhaps this is what is most appealing to me about yoga overall. for me, the practice of yoga is analogous to a prism; each time it is held by the light of an individual, the colors that shine out are unique. when held up to the eye of an individual practioner a different world of mysteries appears.

the physical asana practice of yoga is an essential part of my sense of overall well being.. this is particularly true during times when i find myself living in an urban environment away from the mountains or ocean. just as important to my sense of wellness are the yamas and niyamas. the moral guideposts of yoga that elegantly spell out the path of love and light of the yogi. what makes these practices so meaningfu to me is the way they blend into one another. for example, the practice of svadhyaya (self study) is a fundamental part of my personal journey. personal reflection, however without santosha (contentment), can lead to judgement and negativity. so it is necessary to practice santosha and svadhyaya together. practicing svadhyaya and learning from reflection without judgement is the gift i believe we can all give to ourselves. looking at our lives and setting goals while remainin content with the present moment is a practice that yoga enables.

friends, family, yogis and non-yogis. there are so many people that i am thankful for in my life. my practice of yoga gives me the prism through which to view it all and the tools to continue to grow and blossom.

eden

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