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Renew your practice: The Guru Within

from the mind of Jocelyn Fultz, with the lovely guidance of Lisa Wells and Kristina Ender


Yoga is everywhere. Even in pop culture. I saw  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” last week. I was reminded again of  how similar to eastern thought the concept of “the force” is. Death and rebirth are explored from many perspectives. Characters struggled with destroying old and decayed ideas in favor of fresh, new ideas, some from untested or questionable sources.


In Sanskrit, Guru means “one who dispels darkness and brings forth to light”.  Sound like ‘the force’ to you? Luke needed Obi Wan and Yoda to help him bring out the force, but really, the teacher was always within him.  They pointed at the moon, but the student had to look to see the moon.  Similarly, if we choose to work with a guru or teacher of any sort, we are learning to listen to our inner Guru, our own voice, and what we can learn from our lives and ourselves.


Listening to our inner guide and following our own direction can be challenging, even at the best of times. The turn of a New Year is a sweet opportunity to refocus our minds, to be moved and inspired by our inner teacher. Practice and discipline, or Tapas in Sanskrit, are required. Tapas has its root in the Sanskrit verb Tap, which means “to burn.” You might have heard teachers describe this as a sense of heat building in the body, or Tapasya.  We can also apply this concept to a disciplined practice of listening to our inner Guru building heat and stoking the fires of our own light, or if you will, our connection to “the force.”


In 2018 may we practice listening with intention. Develop discipline without rigidity. Ignite our desire for our unique personal practice. Renew with vigor our lost habits and recharge from within.


Wishing you a blessed year.


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