Our core beliefs shape us as a person. They drive our thoughts and decisions. Core believes shape our lives and our destiny. Here is a list of six core beliefs that shape the kinds of programs we offer and how we view the world.
Core Beliefs #1: Depth and Substance Matters
Part I: Simplicity vs. Sensationalism
Yoga is thoroughly mainstream and there are many teachers in Denver. You find yoga classes at the workplace, the gym, the studio, the park, and the Recreation Center. As a result, many people now have a positive outlet to take care of their body, renew and some peace of mind.
What’s more, you can do yoga in a bar, with pets, livestock and on a horse’s back. There are yoga and chocolate classes, and then there is “Rage Yoga” (think middle finger mudra).
Hence, yoga has been reduced to ‘asana plus ______. ‘ Adding a unique spin to asana has seemingly increased the number of people doing “yoga”. However, it has also diminished the depth of practice.
In all fairness, these classes provide some recreational enjoyment. Levity and joy are meaningful parts of our journey on this Earth. However, amusement is ancillary to yoga’s deepest intent. According to ancient texts, our ultimate purpose is to know ourselves at the deepest level.
Subsequently, drinking shots and attempting handstands, or welcoming a goat on your mat does not elevate yoga but rather, obscures the intent. As my dear friend Lakshmi Nair, founder of the Satya Yoga Cooperative wrote in her heart felt exposé, Why I Will Never Give Up on Yoga:
“It is yoga that is being corrupted by the system,
not the system that is being purified by yoga.”
Part II: Eight Benefits of A Practice Rooted in Depth and Substance:
Benefit #1 – Clear Insight: Depth is the road less traveled. What’s more, it fosters meaningful insights and discoveries that are presently far beyond your grasp. You can see what is real in the present moment more clearly, as opposed to being lost in projections.
Benefit #2 – Resonance: Dedicated yoga practice will transform your values and guide you to live into them more fully. As a result, you can alignment with the higher version of yourself and reshape your destiny. As such we feel a greater resonance with life.
Benefit #3 – Contemplative Insight: The opposite of contemplative is mindless, or without proper consideration. Moreover, contemplative life is less reactive, more principled and considerate of others.
Benefit #4 – Joyful Self Expression: Depth helps us to trust ourselves more fully. As a result, we create more space for joy. Depth gives us easier access to wholesome pastimes. For example: dancing, quality friendships, bonfires, music and songs, and meaningful talks. As a consequence of developing depth, we walk lighter and smile more often.
Benefit #5 – A Focused Mind: People struggle from dispersed energy. For example, advertisement overload, impulsively picking up the phone, and keeping up with the pace of modern life. The world is full of distraction. Conversely, yoga helps to focus our mind and dedicate ourselves to a higher ideals such as our health, or being a more loving parent.
Benefit #6 – Dispassion: Dispassion is conducive to peace. Also called non attachment, dispassion means that one has the capacity to let things go without undermining mental story or drama. Thus, we accept the presence of what is happening without resistance.
Dispassion is not the same as apathy or withholding compassion. Rather, one works toward the highest ideal and is not toppled over by unfulfilled expectations.
Dispassion may seem like an alien concept in modern America. It could be interpreted as repressive, or even subversive. Dispassion is the rebellious act of living in the present moment and not being motivated by fear.
Benefit #7 – Limitless Potential: The path of yoga is all encompassing. Every thought, word and deed can be an expression of yoga. Therefore, yoga reveals our unique purpose on this earth and directs us towards spiritual awakening.
Benefit #8 – The Greatest Treasure: Within each of us is a limitless wellspring of peace. Unfettered by outer circumstance, our spiritual essence is our truest and highest wealth. It’s absolutely free and we can take it with us wherever we go at no charge.
“Dispassion is the rebellious act of living in the present moment
and not being motivated by fear.”
CORE BELIEFS #2: YOUR INNER LIFE MATTERS
The tide of the dominate culture doesn’t have much regard for inner-life. Rather, we focus on outer accomplishments. Prolific advertisments, an insatiable desire to increase the GDP, and worship of celebrity figures all emphasizes the external reality.
In brief, our inner life is extremely important because it is the basis of our life experience. Including, how we feel, what we think, and what we are able to see. Our thoughts and feelings are the visceral substance of our lives. First, what glasses do we view ourselves and others through? Second, what color are the glasses and how accurate are they?
Through yoga, you can cultivate a rich inner life and foster seeds of change within. Growing new seeds requires ongoing watering, and a willingness to do the unglamorous work of pulling out the weeds of discontent. Accordingly, yoga philosophy, asana, pranayama and meditation accelerate the process of inner growth.
CORE BELIEFS #3: A WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
Inclusivity at Axis – Axis deliberately fosters a welcoming environment where people from diverse social, ethnic, sexual-orientation and cultural backgrounds. We create an environment where people feel safe enough to fully express themselves.
In the modern world of social media banter, a place to authentically express oneself is rare. At Denver Yoga Underground, a group of diverse, yet like-minded seekers create a welcome environment to practice. In addition we bring out the best in one another.
The Collective – We are capable of far more as a group than we are as individuals. Every member of the community provides a unique perspective to every other member of the tribe. The yoga teacher training is a celebration of human connection as everyone is uplifted by everyone else’s commitment to the process. Students have a safe space to exhale years of unconsciously accumulated stress while learning the timeless art of yoga.
Welcome in the World – This process is not confined to our immediate circle. Outside of the circle students work to integrate these higher ideals in their workplace, their parenting, or any other place their hearts and minds touch.
In particular, those who go on to teach have the opportunity to instill similar values within their classes. In part, this is how the yoga movement was born. Teachers share their particular love of yoga one student at a time.
CORE BELIEFS #4: ACCESSIBILITY MATTERS
The Yoga Underground is a place for people who may not see themselves in established studios for whatever reasons. They want to study yoga but just don’t feel at home culturally, economically, or socially. Where do these people go?
Personally, I’ve been blessed with many great teachers who made their teachings very accessible to me. Not all of our exchange was monetary. Together with various forms of trade, I’ve been able to study yoga in great depth with accomplished teachers. My good fortune inspires me to make the same opportunities available for others. In brief, to pay in forward.
CORE BELIEFS #5: DEDICATED YOGA PRACTICE MATTERS
Yoga requires dedication and is coupled with moments of grace and inspiration. Generally, it is very uplifting process. Consequently, students let go of unsupportive habits, dysfunctional jobs, and or unsupportive relationships.
In addition, there can be discomfort and raw emotions. Together with reviving the places where we may have gone numb. For instance, one may start to wake up to all the unhealthy ways they have been treating themselves and see how destructive their coping mechanisms have been.
Hence, yoga study can be the beginning of a new chapter in life. If you choose to deepen your study, I advise people against making radically impulsive changes – changes that come from a reactive rather than centered place.
Living into yogic principles and developing positive qualities is a gradual process. Lastly, like a tree reaching up through the canopy and towards the light, yoga unfolds organically.
As such, if you decide to do an intensive program with us, pace yourself. You are not going to complete every assignment perfectly, or retain all of the information. In brief, continue to apply yourself as best you can and move at a sustainable rhythm.
Yoga gives us a map, a compass, and a route (the methodologies) by which to navigate the troubled waters of our lives into the highest version of ourselves.
CORE BELIEFS #6: HONORING SEASONED TEACHERS
Seasoned teachers walked the path on a daily basis. Here, you can read more about our teachers. They express their commitment to yoga in the way that they think, speak, act, and practice. As a rule, and over the course of decades, a metamorphic change has silently infused their lives. They are shining example of what a yogic life can accomplish for themselves and for the collective.
A seasoned teacher has a responsibility to uphold the teachings and knows how to impart them to others. They are proficient in the techniques and know how to adapt them to the individual needs of a student. They help the student to see themselves more clearly and progress on the path – a path of lasting fulfillment and inner peace.