“Yoga is meant to make you realize that you’re not this body, but the eternal soul temporarily situated within it.” (Sesa O’Conner of Sesa Yoga)
Sesa O’Connor is an incredible yoga teacher in the Los Angeles Area. Her knowledge is impeccable, her voice and tone are soothing and clear, and her words of wisdom always evoke an introspective response within me. I love her classes at Yoga Salt in Marina del Rey and am so happy that I found her. You can catch her too in the beautiful studios of Yoga Salt, The Green Yogi in Manhattan Beach, and Power Yoga East in Santa Monica, or you can even book private sessions with her.
Sesa grew up on the beaches of Hawaii and was actually childhood friends with Tamal Dodge, who owns Yoga Salt and Tamal Yoga School, where she serves as a Master Instructor in Orange County. The O’Conner family was deeply into yoga, and so Sesa grew up learning and practicing mantra meditation and yoga as a tiny tot. After graduating with honors from her collegiate studies, she found herself pregnant, which ignited a reflective process that lead to her reuniting with her yoga roots. She realized then “how important yoga is to [her] and [her] spiritual progression.”
There are many who are thankful for her path back to yoga because Sesa brings her full spirit into each class she gives. I asked her to share in writing what she relayed a couple of weeks ago after our Savasana. It made me think, so I thought it just might make you think too – about the reasons why we get onto our mats.
Growing up in the yoga system I have watched the popularity of yoga grow more and more each year. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like there’s a yoga studio on almost every other block. But unfortunately and very sadly, I see yoga turning into the exact opposite of what it was meant to be. People come into the yoga room and worry about how deep they’re getting into a pose or if they’re going to hit and hold that handstand. And as a result, people competitively are strengthening their ego, their vanity, and their judgments – whether it’s against others or themselves.
But yoga has nothing to do with the physical practice that most people know has “yoga” here in the west. Yoga isn’t about holding a handstand or even whether you can touch your hands to the mat in a forward fold. Yoga is meant to make you realize that you’re not this body, but the eternal soul temporarily situated within it. The word yoga actually translates into “union” or “re-yoke,” referring to reuniting you, the soul, back into your natural, but dormant, loving relationship that each and every one of us has with God, the Great Spirit, Highest Power, how ever your refer to Him. So rather than worrying how deep you’re getting into the physical practice, look at how much time you’re spending in meditation, self introspection, and looking into the deeply more spiritual things in life.
Something to think about and something to work on beyond the rubber mat.
Drop by Sesa’s classes at Yoga Salt, The Green Yogi, and Power Yoga East. And, if you have some time available to indulge in an absolutely amazing yoga experience in Costa Rica this Spring, do it! Sesa and Amy Guthrie, yet another incredible yoga teacher at Yoga Salt, will be hosting their Soul Recharge Yoga Retreat at Pranamar Villas Santa Teresa from May 2nd to the 9th. Imagine waking up beachside, beginning each beautiful morning with Sesa leading you through a power yoga session, then carrying on surfing, riding horses, hiking, laying on the beach, only to enter the evening with yin yoga and Thai Yoga Massage with Amy. It is bound to be heavenly.