Hello everyone. I am Ricardo, Ella’s husband. We have been on a shared yoga journey for many years and the child of this union materialized as the studio known as Underground Yoga.
I came to Yoga and the teachings of the Masters of India many years ago when I served as a soldier in the US Army at Fort Bragg NC. Through the guidance of an adept I began my studies of esoteric subjects and yogic practice.
I quickly discovered that Bhakti Yoga -the Yoga of devotion so eloquently described and articulated in that most sacred of books of the Hindus “The Bhagavad Gita “was something I could easily and naturally sink my teeth into, spiritually speaking. Even as a child I had a devotional temperament and I found it easy to worship and adore the idea of God.
I was raised in the Catholic faith and experienced the different rituals and sacraments that culminate in the receiving of communion where the last supper is reenacted, and the congregants receive the body of Christ in the form of the eucharist or host. I read prayer books and was intrigued by the adventures of the various saints and the life of Christ in particular. I deeply enjoyed biblical films. When my mother would punish me to my room for not behaving in school or some other nonsense, I would stage the mass. My blanket would be the priest’s robe. Wonder bread would miraculously turn into communion wafers and grape juice would stand for the wine which represented the blood of the crucified Christ. Reading from my missal I would officiate over the makeshift altar ( my dresser)and recite gravely in Latin:
“In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti” (In the name of The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit)
I was 10 years old.
Bhakti Yoga is the path of intense devotional love for God in all relationships and activities. God is loved as a father, mother, child, friend or spouse. Every activity no matter how mundane is an act of love . Every thought and motion an oblation. To the Bhakti Yogi all things stem from God and are quickened by love’s intensity.
The Journey that Ella and I have embarked on is one of healing at the deepest levels of our being for in addition to the time you will spend on your mat at our studio the greater mat is life itself with all its opportunities for growth and transcendence .
In the end we are all seeking deeper levels of stillness in the face of the unavoidable impermanence of human life and the limited insight our senses can provide.
For the Bhakti Yogi love is the answer. For the Karma Yogi it will be action. For the Jnani Yogi it will be dispassionate analysis. The Hatha Yogi will strive to still our reactions to the incessant flow of thoughts through postures and regulation of the breath.
Make no mistake about it. A Great Benevolence lives and breathes through us and is seeking us as much as we are seeking it.
We will seek to become one with it. On our mats.