From the Publisher
"Sell delves into many aspects of practice, and. . . . there are lots- lots-of gems here. Sell's knack for integrating lofty concepts with everyday realities makes for an inspiring read.”
-Amy Karafin; Yoga International, Summer 2011
"Christina Sell explains-from her own study and life experience-why building a solid yoga practice, which includes a sincere endeavor of self reflection, is one of the most effective and powerful ways to live in peace and harmony with life.”-Desiree Rumbaugh, creator of Yoga to The Rescue (DVDs).
"A manual for living in the real world, and an exultant addition to the field of mindfulness and wellbeing! Connects yoga's tradition and wisdom to what will support any individual seeking to live more earnestly and authentically 'off the mat.'”-Laura A. Freshman MSW, LCSW; U. of Colorado Hospital.
Read an Excerpt
Many people come to yoga practice with an ordinary inspiration such as "I want to be more flexible” or "I need to calm down” or even "I want to get fit.” Others come for the more spiritual promises like inner peace, greater compassion and expanding one's consciousness. And while the exterior reasons vary person to person, most of the reasons boil down to, "I have a longing to know myself more fully. I want to experience a greater freedom and live from that knowledge. I think yoga can help me somehow.”
In this book I do not concern myself so much with the overt reasons why people are practicing yoga because I see the different motivations as facets of the same diamond; as various manifestations of the longing to align with our intrinsic samkalpa (our intention or aim), to experience a greater freedom and self-knowledge and to act from that understanding. Wanting to do something good for ourselves, like yoga, aligns us with that fundamental part of us that is good and knows that we deserve the goodness of health, clarity, integrity and happiness.
Yoga philosophy suggests that the body is a microcosm of greater spiritual forces. Therefore, wanting the health of the body is not divorced from spiritual intention. When we are building a temple of the body we want the structure to be sound, laid out according to a solid plan, and built with the best construction materials and technology available. Physical fitness, therefore, is not a lowly intention. Seen from this wider perspective, freedom for the body is freedom for the heart. Whatever gets (and keeps!) someone on the path of yoga is great because every motive points us back to our heart's intention (to our samkalpa) to experience a higher degree of freedom and self-knowledge.
Because we are talking about a temple of the body, even the loftiest of intentions must be brought down to earth and brought to life in the sometimes messy and humbling domain of human experience. One of my counselors in college used to tell me all the time, "You know, Christina, you just can't get through life without getting some of it on you!” Even the most transcendent of aspirations will be made quite real in this endeavor of temple building.
Building a temple of the body is as much an intention for practice as it is an outcome of our practice. This intention places our attention and efforts in a stream of ideals that has our highest possibility in mind.