Yesterday, the Burlington yoga community hosted a truly beautiful event. The fifth annual Yoga on Church Street commenced at 9AM and concluded around 11AM. The event brought together a diverse community of practitioners and offered everyone a balanced and satisfying class together. One wonderful aspect of the event was its emphasis on respect, including respect for all beings as well as our immediate selves. Tibetan prayer flags gently danced overhead as a representative from the Center for Mindful Learning offered a simple yet heartfelt opening address. In truth, the practice was simply freeing, accommodating all skill levels, with an emphasis on applying our yoga practice towards strengthen an awareness of the heart center. Thereafter, an extensive holistic oriented raffle with light refreshments was held, in which all proceeds were donated to the Prevent Child Abuse Vermont foundation.
Yoga essentially means union. In Book II of The Yoga Sutras, the great sage Patanjali refers to our collective practices aimed at promoting a state of union (or oneness) as kriya yoga (II.1). Although Yoga on Church Street had little to do with philosophy, kriya yoga, reimagined as a means for obtaining oneness without grasping onto anything whatsoever, presents as a poignant theme which participation in the event helped me internalize. Presently, while contemplatively gazing over Lake Champlain, I am struck by a brief realization, a reflection on the importance that mental clarity affords each of us as we ascribe meaningfulness to our personal experience. Based on my own experience, I found Yoga on Church Street to be a truly meaningful event, and have no doubt that the whole Burlington community benefited vastly. I greatly look forward to attending the event for years to come.