Too often, people tell Jason Freskos that they don’t have time to get into yoga or that yoga does not fit into their business-oriented life. Or that they feel that yoga is not a serious-enough practice for them. To this, Jason Freskos chuckles and tries to explain not only how well yoga can fit into the business person’s life, but also how adding it can enhance one spiritually.
Here in San Francisco, the art and practice of yoga is most often tied to athleticism and getting fit — and of course, this is an important benefit of yoga. But it is not the only benefit. For Jason Freskos, the true beauty of yoga is not what it does to your body but rather what it can offer for your soul. For Jason Freskos and the many people who go to him for yoga, the answer to what makes yoga so unique and so special is its connection to spirituality.
Jason Freskos is a registered yoga teacher and has helped hundreds of practitioners find greater ease and a better spiritual connection via the art. But to understand how, one first must first understand spirituality. In this context, spiritual means transcending beyond those dimensions in which we exist. It also means improving one’s mental and emotional condition so they can connect with others and the world around themselves in a deeper, more empathetic manner.
What it doesn’t mean is a religion, or at least not in the way in which religion is traditionally taught in the West. When you roll out the yoga mat and follow a yogi in a structured class, you do not have to ascribe to any specific faith or believe in a certain brand of worship. In fact, one of the things that first drew Jason Freskos to yoga was how beautifully yoga united people of varying faiths and cultural backgrounds. You can be an avowed atheist who puts no stock in their cultural background and still find that regular application of yoga principles and techniques can improve yourself spiritually.
Arguably the important way the practice of yoga assists one spiritually is by cultivating awareness. As Jason Freskos explains, today’s world is so busy and we have so many things to do, that our minds become chaotic and we become so entrenched with things that we must do, racing from one place to the next. While this may be good in the short-term, this type of constant being on can lead us astray and hurt us. Jason Freskos notes that he’s seen quite a few brilliant people stumble in their careers due to overexertion.
What yoga can teach is how to take a time out and how to sit in silence with oneself. Sitting in silence while meditating on a pose enables us to become more aware with ourselves, what we’re experiencing, and how to accept the current, the present moment. It’s in these moments, Jason Freskos explains, that we can find the path forward to greater spirituality and sense of self-worth.