When was the last time you looked at the meaning behind your yoga practice? Attendees got the chance to peel off a layer of learning at the 2008 Inner IDEA Conference, held September 11-14 in Palm Springs, California in Yoga: Movement as Metaphor. Phyllis Pilgrim presented the session, one of many that welcomed introspection and renewal. Pilgrim is the education director of Body-Mind-Spirit and Specialty Week Programs at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort. She also teaches yoga, meditation, labyrinth and meditation walks.

The class used classic yoga poses based on Iyengar yoga principles to embody a strong relationship to how you live your life. Pilgrim taught the messages behind the movements to discover the deeper meaning and purpose. “Mastering various yoga poses can help you to develop courage, heroism, strength and stability, while increasing your ability to focus and to have balance and equanimity along with many other tools that offer an inner sense of calm and mastery over your body,” according to Pilgrim.

Sandy Todd Webster, editor-in-chief of IDEA publications, experienced the session firsthand. “Phyllis managed to weave life’s challenges into the yoga poses, including courage, boldness, creativity, holding your ground, compassion, surrender and integrity,” Webster said. “It put into perspective how a yoga practice could come alive with the broader picture of one’s life. One example: ‘It’s very important to not be aggressive. Bow to the inner wisdom, which will tell you when you’ve gone far enough.’”

Take a look at raw footage from this enlightening experience.