Writer and long time yoga practitioner, Monette Chilson, will join us for an upcoming Sunday lecture based on her book, Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom (Bright Sky Press, Summer 2013).
This fascinating lecture will examine yoga’s philosophical underpinnings and reveal how yoga practitioners from any faith can use their yoga to create a sacred inner space in harmony with their religious beliefs. We spoke recently with Monette to ask her more.
WIH Reporter: What is important for us to know about your upcoming lecture?
Chilson: We get a lot of misinformation about yoga. What I’ve done in the book and I hope to do in the lecture is to go through the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of yoga to show that they are compatible with any religion or spirituality.
In the culture that we live in, we are so fast-paced, so go-go-go. Most people have heard of the Yin and Yang, the complementary forces that interact to form a whole. We are very Yang in our culture, so anything that gives you a little more Yin brings you into a space where you can see and feel the sacred.
In our Western religions, we THINK about God and we intellectualize. We don’t EXPERIENCE God as much as in Eastern religions. We memorize and read, but we don’t have these tools for sitting and being still anymore. Early Christianity had that, but we’ve lost the tradition. I will draw a lot of comparisons in the lecture between some of the contemplative traditions of early Christianity and some parts of yoga such as the breathing and the mudras, which are the hand gestures.
WIH Reporter: What else can you tell us about the mind body connection that is so important in yoga?
Chilson: Our culture is starting to recognize and reclaim this integration of the mind and body, which is very exciting. There are centers in Houston’s medical community that are actually at the forefront of getting this conversation started. So, we’re in a good place for that, we just need more voices talking about those connections. In the West, we like to compartmentalize the body, the mind, and then the spirit. Living holistically, you don’t compartmentalize, you harmonize.
This Sunday lecture will take place on September 15th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Copies of Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom (Bright Sky Press, Summer 2013) will be available for sale and signing by the author following the lecture.