Friday, August 16, 2019
Julie Podachefsky, YogiAmong Yogis
Julie Podachefsky is one of the most outstanding yoga practitioners/teachers of our time. She teaches other teachers of yoga how to present their work in the most authentic fashion, taking into account the sacred roots of yoga and how to bring this awareness into their own classes.
Today many who practice or even teach yoga stress such things as the health benefits, the beauty enhancements, or the relaxation rewards of yoga, and are not aware of the sacred beginnings and purpose of this ancient practice.
Yoga in its origins was meant to be a means of "yoking" the human practitioner to the divine itself. Seekers often practiced austere measures, followed extreme practices, limited their diets or pursued other harsh disciplines to ready their bodies to receive the intense infusions of (often blissful) energies into their systems. These aspirants were instructed to find a worthy teacher (guru) to lead them on their journey and show them how to prepare for advanced practices of illumination, leading perhaps to enlightenment itself.
Julie does not follow nor prescribe such severe regimens, but she herself loves to read the ancient texts and adapt what she finds there to the modern student. In fact, she and I are planning to read and study the text called the "Hatha Yoga Pradipita" once she returns to this area in the spring. I also love these ancient texts, but must admit that this one looks rather formidable. However, I consider this a blessing and a great opportunity to study with one so knowledgeable about the practice of yoga.
Here is a quote from the intro to the above text:
"Its practice demands complete mastery of the physical and mental body, rendering the body and mind capable of withstanding prolonged ecstatic states of union with the infinite. Samadhi, or the enlightened state, is not just a mental experience; it is a psychokinetic or whole-body/mind event, involving every fiber, cell and tissue.” Later the same writer asserts that the final goal of Yoga is to turn the physical into light
Julie has gone to India many times to further her awareness of Yoga in the place of its origin. In fact she has made the journey to India five times in the past and will be co-leading a small group there once more in a few weeks.
Julie spend this last summer in the mountains near Boulder and loved her stay so much that she has decided to move here. Of course, this prospect delights me. We have met for lunch several time this summer and I look forward to many more such meetings with her and her wonderful friends Brenda and Erica (who will I am sure visit her often.
(Don't know how I got two of these images, but I feel doubly blessed to know Julie. Note the crown of light above her head. Of course!)