Timothy’s teaching philosophy is guided by his belief that we are all one. Because this inherent oneness is difficult to experience, Timothy uses various techniques, principles and philosophies to guide his students’ towards integrating mind, body and heart.
Some of the relevant truths Timothy teaches are rooted in the ancient yogic scriptures, while others are based on a more modern and householder approach to yoga. Many of these philosophies are relevant in the emerging field of positive psychology. Timothy has sorted through a variety of philosophies and yogic techniques and has found the following ten principles to be the most relevant and powerful for modern yoga practitioners.
Self mastery is the ability to harness and control your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The attainment of self-mastery can be used to produce right action (dharma) and desired personal changes at will. Self-mastery also creates a deep satisfaction with life, and a strong sense of self-confidence.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
In the center of your heart lies a bright powerful light of love, compassion, generosity, empathy, honesty and trust. Opening the heart to this inner power is often difficult and requires great courage to be vulnerable as well as the conscious removal of fear. Learn to master the opening and closing of the heart through your breath, through your posture, through your smile, and through every thought, action or deed.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Every moment offers the potential for feeling and expressing gratitude and thankfulness. Finding gratitude in our everyday lives sharpens the mind, makes us mindful of the present moment, and is one of the quickest and easiest practices to increase the happiness and joy in your life.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
Forgiveness is often difficult, but it is a worth-while practice to master. It has been shown to create happiness and improve life satisfaction. Forgiveness removes bitterness of the past, transforms bad memories, and increases mercy, empathy and kindness.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Intention is pure power. It is the tiny acorn that grows over time into the mighty oak tree. Find the right seeds and gently plant them in healthy soil and nourish them with every thought. An effective intention is a short, positive, and precise statement about what you wish to attain for yourself and/or for the benefit of all.
Without intention, all these postures, these breathing practices, meditations, and the like can become little more than ineffectual gestures. When animated by intention, however, the simplest movement, the briefest meditation, and the contents of one breath cycle are made potent.
Let your inner light shine. Through asana, pranayama and yoga kriya we can cultivate a strong inner radiance. To cultivate our inner light we must stoke the fire energies of the body just enough to create radiance, but not too much deplete and “burn-out” the system. Yoga encourages us to see the inner light in all beings, and to learn how to wash away the crud that blocks our inner light from shining brightly.
Life is a pure flame and we live by an invisible sun within us.
Mindfulness is a practice of turning your awareness and focus to what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness is a powerful lens that can focus our intentions, our awareness, and our love and light. A mindful practice creates a sense of centeredness and inner focus, giving our yoga practice and our life more depth and tranquility.
If you have controlled your mind you are the conqueror of the whole world.
Faith and optimism can be learned, practiced and strengthened. These are powerful tools to ward off despair and sadness and to light your path ahead with love and hope. Your mental outlook has a direct impact on your physical health, and faith and optimism have been shown to create resistance to depression, and to improve work performance.
There are two primary forces in this world, fear and faith. Fear can move you to destructiveness or sickness or failure. Only in rare instances will it motivate you to accomplishment. But faith is a greater force. Faith can drive itself into your consciousness and set you free from fear forever.
Learn to befriend and delight in working with your shadow. Things hidden in the dark are only scary because they are unseen. Our shadows contain the motivation to transform ourselves and give us encouragement to become more enlightened.
One doesn’t become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
Learn to laugh at yourself and at life and cultivate both humor and humility for yourself. Experiencing joy is one of the sacred gifts of this life, and laughter makes the hardships of life more bearable. Learning to laugh at ourselves keeps the ego in check and promotes humility and humbleness.
There are only two mantras… yum and yuk. Mine is yum.
As we focus on integrating these ten principles into our daily practice, we begin to taste the true meaning of yoga: uniting mind, body, and heart with the Divine. Combining these philosophies with yoga can bring us immediate happiness, peace and tranquility as well as improving our relationship to the world around us.
Timothy suggests working with these ten core principles one at a time. Print the relevant quote and post it someplace to remind you of the teaching. Or use a journal and set aside a time to daily reflect on the teaching’s content. Allow these philosophies to permeate your yoga practice to guide you deeper towards a state of enlightened living, breathing, loving and being.