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Deva Parnell

Discovery Yoga, in Deva Parnell
                                Portraitthe Kripalu tradition, is an interplay of body, mind and energy. Within the physical body is a subtle flow of rhythmic, energy pulsations that we call prana, or life force. Even the most insignificant thought can disturb or block this flow of energy, creating imbalance or even disease. Every act of the body is invariably accompanied and strongly influenced by mental and emotional conditions, the awareness of which forms the more subtle aspect of the practice which includes physical postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation and meditation. By fully experiencing and objectively observing your physical, mental and emotional experience, blockages begin to dissolve, energy is freed, and healing can to happen on all levels. Each day, as you encounter and release layers of stress, pain, and unconscious resistance lodged in the body, you progressively accelerate the natural, internal healing processes that enable you to awaken to the higher levels of emotional stability, mental clarity and physical well-being.

Discovery Yoga classes usually follow this basic outline:

  • Centering with yogic breathing, pranayama: to bring you into the present moment.
  • Warm-ups, pratapana: to mobilize your joints, warm your muscles and develop body awareness, to facilitate a safe yoga practice.
  • Yoga postures, asana: to increase your strength and flexibility and facilitate a deep awareness of your various levels of experience: physical, energetic, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
  • Deep relaxation: yoga nidra, to release accumulated tension, bringing your body, mind and Spirit into a natural, harmonious, balanced state.
  • Integration with yogic breathing, pranayama: to further balance your energy and bring closure to your experience.

Physical Yoga practice works on the muscular-skeletal systems as well as the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, immune and nervous systems. The regular practice of yoga has been shown produce physical benefits including reduced anxiety, stress and blood pressure levels, and increased relaxation, flexibility, strength, endurance, and energy levels. The practice of Discovery Yoga, which uses the body as a vehicle for accessing Spirit, can have profound effects on the mind and emotions as well as the physical body. As mental and emotional disturbances are dissolved, tremendous amounts of prana are released to affect healing. A practice of this depth offers far greater possibilities than could be expected from an isolated physical discipline.

Discovery Yoga is also a tool for self empowerment and personal growth. The practice teaches you to tap into your own inner-knowing rather than being dependent upon guidance from external authorities. You learn to be open to what others have to offer without giving away your powers to reason, discriminate and make our own decisions. At the same time, you are also establishing an intimate and nurturing relationship with your body. Every sensation becomes sacred and is responded to with tenderness and compassion, and each session is approached with an attitude of prayer. In Discovery Yoga practice your body becomes the temple in which you invoke the presence of the divine. This intention can take you to new depths in your practice and in your life.

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