Thomas Michael Fortel
is a longtime yoga practitioner/teacher, influenced by the Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Anusara styles of Hatha yoga, and drawing from his devotional experience in Bhakti yoga. He travels widely, sharing his love for yoga.
One's whole being, starting from the physical body, can be refined and strengthened so it acts as a medium for the higher cosmic force. The system of hatha yoga was designed to transform the gross elements of the body so they can receive and transmit a much subtler and more powerful energy. — Hatha Yoga Pradipika (6th century text)
The long, slow, conscious breath has the ability to stabilize and quiet the fluctuations of the mind. Concurrently, the breath can act as a medium through which we are able to connect to the formless dimension of being, to the invisible realms of spirit and soul. Whether we are in the yoga room, changing jobs, or dealing with a shadow facet of ourselves, the conscious breath can serve as an amazing tool of transition—it can calm us down in the corridors of change.
“In many ways, our whole lives are a series of doorways and passages into new or forgotten ways of being,” says Thomas Fortel. “Over time, the practices of yoga can create a softening of habits and patterns, a clarifying of mind, and a gradual opening of the spiritual lotuses (chakras). All of this can lead to an expanded field of awareness beyond our personal ego, and into a wellspring of life-force (energy) and our natural place in the ocean of consciousness.