As a Buddhist practitioner, I grow up in my spiritual path with the sense of refuge, that in my opinion is something that belong to all cultures and religions.
That is the reason why I’d like to offer Yoga Class as a refuge and not as an escape.
Everyone of us is looking for a refuge, a kind of relief of the stressors we have to face up in our dailylife, especially in our challenging time. Most of the time we are looking for some escape as reaching for some tasty food like chocolate or alcohol or a frenetic on-line shopping. All that stuff belong to a place that hide ourself and doesn’t allow us to have a mature insight and a deep understand about who we really are and which is stopping our personal growth.
All that behavior is an escape and not a refuge, it is not a place where we can take care of ourself as a refuge allows us to do, it is just a way to run away from ourself.
A “yoga refuge” is a way to create a safe space when you feel unsure, it is a way to create an opportunity to get in touch with that part of ourself that is love, clarity, goodness, strength to be always upright and be able to move on.
Yoga must be a perfect vehicle for getting in touch with all our feelings, a way to realize that everything is impermanent in our life, that everything is born, dwells and disappears.
As yoga teachers I try to give to my students this kind of feeling when they came into my class, I try to give them a key to enter in a safe space where they can find support in their moment of vulnerability, to welcome them in a space where they can know themself a little better with an insight practice instead of an escape that bring nothing with it, only a waste of time, money and sometimes unhealty moments.
I start thinking that every student is a perfect unkown, unknow about his own emotions, feeling, worries, toughts. Every student bring in a Yoga class a backpack of feelings and thoughts that are unknow for the teacher and most of the time that backpack is an unawer experience for the student, because we have the habit to escape from the feeling we don’t like, to escape from fear and negative emotions, instead of being aware of them
We don’t know what anyone is carrying into our Yoga class, so having an open approach to welcome the unknow is always a right way to welcome the student. This is our responsability, not to dress as a Guru and try to have and give the right answer for every situation, to give solution to other people’s sadness or confusion or anger. We only have to stay open, create a safe and confortable space for everyone, letting people trusting in practice and give them a sense of refuge, because that is what really matter.
Everyone has its own time to solve personal issue, to grow up from the spiritual point of view, to learn how to go deep inside.