Heat Up Your Yoga Practice: Dragon Rider Style
You might be wondering, “What do practicing yoga and Dragons have to do with each other?”
It’s a good question. And the answer is a many layered and wondrous thing. Though we can go into the philosophy of yoga forever, in this article I’ll focus mainly on the physical practice of yoga poses, called asana.
(By the way if you're just looking for a way to do yoga right now, you can get a free full length yoga class called Awakening the Dragon on my Yoga for Dragon Riders website. That said, on with the article...)
In yoga, as in life, we often learn from stories and metaphors. Not only is it effective, but also makes learning more fun and relevant. We take themes that are important to us, that show up to guide us or challenge us, and these themes play out in the yoga practice as well as everyday life.
You can learn a lot by bringing the themes of Dragons and being a Dragon Rider into your world and yoga practice.
Here are some examples:
- How to Practice Yoga
If you're new to the world of yoga poses, asana and meditation, you might be wondering very simply, 'How do I practice yoga? ' Where do you start? Well, the first thing is to remember that yoga is a practice...
Tapas and Tejas
Tapas is the fiery heat that brings focus and discipline to the practice of yoga. This concept is a central teaching that plays out on and off the yoga mat, and can be likened to Dragon’s fire, coming from within and wielded with skill. When you cultivate tapas it brings greater vitality, courage, and ability. It fuels you when you need more strength. It motivates you to practice consistently, with dedication and devotion.
Tejas is the spark of light within that each of us have. It could be likened to the heart of a Dragon, like a gem of pure sparkling divine essence. Sometimes we forget that we each have this jewel heart, this light within. We are able to reconnect and glean insight from our true selves via the practices of yoga and meditation.
- Yoga Radio: Yoga for Dragon Riders – Making Your Practice an Adventure
Dragons have incredible transformative powers, and becoming a Dragon Rider symbolizes merging the Universal and Individual. Listen in and find out how to bring more fire to your yoga practice.
Vitality and Flow, Magic and Power
If you think of a Dragon, you likely imagine it as a strong, powerful creature that can fly through the skies. It conjures up visions of magical abilities and heroic acts.
The legends of yoga are full of courageous deeds and superhero powers, including immortal beings of supreme health. And though there is a whole school of thought to go with theses (again the philosophy which is a subject for another time) they are also experienced first-hand in the physical practice of yoga.
When you practice yoga you enhance your own state of health and wellbeing. You increase vitality and vigor. You build strength and learn how to surrender the struggles of life. You find the freedom you seek in the flow of movement and breath.
Practicing yoga brings courage, which shows up to assist you in life situations just as it supports you in the sometimes-strange positions you find yourself in on your mat. You see life in a different light, finding magic in the moment and in the eyes of others. And yoga has been known to bring superhuman powers as well. Of course, just like there are misled Dragons and good Dragons, it’s essential to be well grounded in your yoga practice so those powers are not misused.
Lastly—and though I could go on I think I’ll finish with this one—the idea of being a Dragon Rider encourages you to play.
It gives you permission to weave the mythic element of imagination into the way you see yourself and how you approach your practice. It invites your inner child to participate in the mix of breath and movement and challenge and laughter that yoga can be.
When you think of yourself as a Dragon Rider, perhaps you get taller and feel more bravery well up within you. Maybe it tips your confidence in yourself so you realize that you are capable of a pose that you used to hold back on, but instead decide to try on for size in a fit of child-like spontaneity.
Or maybe it allows you to relax even more fully in Savasana at the end of the practice, like a young Dragon Rider who just got back from a particularly exciting adventure and is ready to just lie back in the grass and watch the beauty of a Dragon flying through a wide open sky.
However you look at it, bringing the play, the fire, the power, the wisdom, and the heart of your imagination into your yoga practice can make it that much more meaningful and fulfilling.