This Spiritual LifeNovember 5, 2011
Following the path of spirituality
In the beginning of my quest for a spiritual connection, I was not even sure of what spirituality was. I was on the fast track with my karate practice and had just realized that I needed something more then I was getting from karate. In my search for alternatives in the martial arts, I discovered tai chi, and immediately signed up for the next class. Now I was practicing two modalities and I was not sure where I was headed. Little by little as I learned the form, I started feeling more relaxed and realized that I had nowhere to go with my karate practice, however I still did not understand how tai chi could be a martial art. The thing that kept me going was my teacher, Lou Kleinsmith. Lou was a direct student of Cheng Man Ching, a world recognized authority on tai chi.
Over the next 5-6 years, until Lou passed away, I never missed any of his classes. My whole body began to change. I discovered my tan tien, or center of gravity. My body seemed to condense as I relaxed into one unit. I started naturally breathing like a baby. My limbs got heavier and I constantly ached. Now my mind started to clear and I experienced less thoughts. I began to meditate, and experienced a calmness of mind and body that I had never known. Little did I realize that my spiritual connection was getting stronger.
It was then that another student introduced me to yoga. Eventually I discovered my teacher, Alan Finger, who put me on the road to spirituality. I now realized that we are all spiritual beings seeking that ultimate connection with the universe. Yoga is that practice intended to foster the development of our reality thru the practice of meditation. Yoga postures, breathing exercises and meditation along with leading a moral and ethical life are the cornerstones of the practice. Vegetarian foods do not harm the environment and help detox the body. Together we gradually realize that yoga enables us to experience the connection of ourselves with all that there is. Our state of consciousness rises and good thoughts and actions result from calmness of mind and body. Life becomes good and we see the goodness in others. It is said that yoga is calming the fluctuations of the mind. The mind calms, the body relaxes, the breath elongates and a state of bliss engulfs us at times.