Congratulations on discovering this amazing course. It will be a valuable companion on your journey inward. My personal journey has been blessed with the presence of Miguel Latronica, his expansive wisdom, knowledge and passion for yoga. This course, however, is more than just a course about yoga; It contains an interactive process for healing at all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
As a physician I have spent more than 20 years exploring wellness. My quest to understand1 the multidimensional aspects f wellness and healing began in public health and then traditional allopathic medicine. I soon recognized that our traditional model (with its focus on treating disease) was lacking in helping to create dynamic wellness. This personal paradigm shift has led me to explore yoga, meditation, and ayurvedic medicine. One of the many interesting features of Miguel’scourse is how he incorporates so many aspects of healing and wellness. A Light From Within is a beautiful and comprehensive exploration of both yoga and wellness. In the West, many tend to perceive yoga as only the physical practice of postures, or asanas. I am so excited to be able to recommend and share a book, such as Miguel’s which explores many aspects of yoga and self-care, ultimately leading to self-healing.
There have been several recent articles in major publications about the increasing popularity of yoga. In general, these focus on the physical practice of yoga– the asanas. While this is a great doorway into what we call yoga, there are, nonetheless, many other facets (or jewels) of yoga that allow us to shine and experience our “light” more deeply. Miguel’s course helps to do just that: He guides us in a process of learning how to cultivate the “jewels” of yoga from within. For example, in addition to the 52 physical yoga poses, we also learn how to blend and incorporate breath work (pranayama), mudras (energy locks) and other exercises too.The journaling and workbook exercises allow us to to peel away the unwanted layers of our life. It is through this process that we may learn to become aware of how the words we speak and images we conjure affect who we are.
A Light From Within encourages us to explore the way we think and feel about the things before us. This is what makes this course different from any other yoga courses I’ve ever seen. Its method leads one to the heartfelt process of self-inquiry. It presents a self-guided process based on your personal historical timeline and can therefore be personalized. The method presented here can be beautifully utilized alone, or in small group settings such as yoga teacher trainings. It is very interactive and includes social links to share and exchanging your thoughts and ideas with like-minded people. More importantly, it can be used alone and kept private so that no one but you sees and interacts with its content.
For those with minimal free time, explore one section of the course at a time. You can start anywhere and explore it’s many options. Just as we are all unique beings, the course can be individualized to provide a unique experience for each and every person. Becoming whole, healed or well requires attention to not only our physical body but also our othermore subtle layers. Traditionally, the disease-centric model of Western medicine has failed to address this unity of body. We developed “ologies” or separate silos of specialties. Fortunately, I am blessed on my journey as an integrative physician to have discovered functional medicine: a systems biology approach to wellness, understanding that the entire system (mind, body, spirit) functions and cooperates together. Specifically, functional medicine looks upstream at the root causes of disease and illness, in order to create wellness and vitality. It is more than naming a disease and prescribing a medicine. Rather, it is about digging deep to understand causes and individual variability, in order to heal and be well and vital.
A Light From Within is like a functional method for exploring yoga and wellness. It focuses on the unity of the body, mind and spirit. There are comprehensive directions of each asana, as well as corresponding journal entries, reflective questions, affirmations, mudras and haikus. In this book, you will learn about the subtle aspects of wellness, such as our energetic system, through exploring the power of mudras. The questions for journaling guide us to dig deep and understand the many layers of our subtle being. Each workbook question has a table to rate and explore our emotional imprint or intelligence. When we recognize and rate the parameters of our emotions, we bring more clarity and awareness to our feelings. We all have the ability to heal and turn toward greater health and wellness.In order to heal, we need to understand what role conditioning has played in our lives. In A Light From Within, Miguel provides a rich format in which to explore self-awareness and self-acceptance with gratitude and grace.
This course helps us to better see and understand our habits and cultural biases. It actually encourages us to learn to be more present in the moment and develop habits that encourage mindfulness. In our world today, we are rich with opportunities to disconnect from ourselves and our surroundings. We can find endless ways to occupy and distract ourselves from the process of life, from pain and suffering, and ultimately distance ourselves from joy and contentment. Being aware of our breath is one such practice we can cultivate. From our first inhalation to our last, our breath gives us life. In between this first and last are potentially billions of breaths of which we may never take notice, and that we often take for granted.
The section on Pranayama teaches us how to harness the subtle healing potential of prana. We can create a contract with the sublime healing forces of pranic healing from our breath. Traditionally,yoga has eight different limbs or rungs to it. A Light From Within focuses on the asanas, mudras, questions and journaling, it includes more than 50 hours of meditative exercises. The entire course is divided into Four Seasons, 52 weeks, or sections of your life. You can begin anywhere. Just begin where you are.
Mary Farhi, MD