So, I am studying yogic philosophy with a local MPLS teacher--Ben Vincent. He's kind of amazingly smart and kind. Check his website out here: http://vincentyoga.com/
Our work together involves many approaches stemming from the studying and chanting of the Yoga Sutras
in Sanskrit. I'm here to tell you that it's not easy work. And for that matter, neither is the mantra practice, meditation practice or dharma work that I'm doing in conjunction. Not only is it difficult on the mind and body, but it stirs up all the emotional crap that I've been subconsciously storing for....oh, the past 30 years. Ouch.
So, as the work continues to, well, work, and my emotional health is feeling a bit low, I have finally figured out what I need. And that is of course a sangha.
is a community in which you practice. Ideally it would include people with whom you see eye to eye and who are doing similar work to you. In the current system of Western Yoga, this tends to take the form of a yoga studio. In Buddhism, it's your community of fellow meditation practitioners.
In Buddhist philosophy the sangha
is one of "three jewels" or "three refuges" also including the teacher (Buddha) and the teachings (Dharma). In yoga these can be understood as the teacher (guru)
and the teachings (shastra).
Though I have a philosophy teacher, I've been lacking an asana
teacher for some time now. Someone who I really connect with seems out of reach somehow, and in order to continue to grow as a teacher myself, I think it best to maintain a strong practice with someone.
Which brings me to my plan. I am going to attend a week's worth of classes at all the Minneapolis yoga studios that peak my interest. On my list are the Yoga Center of MPLS, One Yoga, The Om Collective, The Meditation Center, Devanadi Yoga and the St. Paul Yoga Center. And maybe, just maybe I will finally find the refuge that I've been craving. And maybe with the appropriate sangha
connection, I will have a support system when the going gets rough on the meditation cushion.