We think we are many things. We think we’re football players, taxi cab drivers, doctors, lawyers, gangsters, politicians, psychologists, journalists, presidents of countries, teachers, street hustlers, physical therapists, singers, thugs, business owners, rock stars, infantry, pilots, bloggers, victims, conquerors, employees, students, rappers, motivational speakers, firemen, mail clerks; we think we are the colonizer, and we think we are the oppressed, etc…
We think we are a lot of things, and we identify with a lot of ideas we have in our minds when none of the labels we give ourselves or their descriptions is actually who we truly and essentially are (the same is true for the labels we put on others, they are not the labels we place on them either – this might be too deep for now :-)). We are much more than names, labels and descriptions. Those labels are just names we give ourselves when we are occupied with doing things that are associated with those titles (which are just words). We are infinitely more! If you don’t know that already, you might want to start working on that puzzle (the sooner the better).
You don’t want to look back at your life when you are nearing your end and be forced to admit to yourself that your life was all based on a mistake, a misunderstanding, or a plain old wrong idea. That would be a sad realization at that late stage in life, especially since there are no redos. If you are struggling with what your purpose is in life, learning who you truly are is a great place to start.
The part of you that is real is permanent and eternal. Svadhyaya and find out :-)
No Sunday yoga asana practice yesterday -- I was away for business. I missed that group space connection though. When we are all together and moving through our practice with breath, there is a spiritual cadence and vibration that lifts our being. Only those who practice can ever know what this feels like and what this means for the quality of their life during this lifetime. Others who do not practice and therefore lack the real and authentic experience of this heightened state of feeling/being, are the ones who speculate, doubt, and debate the truth of this. I always find this fascinating. Practice provides experience. Experience builds the door through which knowledge may enter.
We are back on for next Sunday though. I look forward to seeing you there.
Today, before we began our practice, we did a little exercise where we extended one arm out in front of us loosely and delicately. Then, I asked everyone to hold their arm in the same position, but strong this time as if to be prepared to resist a push or nudge and hold the position. The point here was to bring awareness to the signal the mind sends to the arm. When holding the arm up flimsily, the signal is weak compared to the strength of the signal sent when the arm is sturdy. Notice we have the conscious power to intensify the signal being sent from the mind to the muscle. The signal is energy, so we can consciously control our energy level.
I asked everyone to imagine the signal as energy traveling through an energy channel, and the energy signal flows (or rather “blows”) through the channel like wind. The stronger the wind blows through, the less likely anything will be able to catch hold of the sides of the channels. But if the wind or energy signal is weak, buildup can cling to the walls of the channels and accumulate to a point where it begins to block the channel (like an artery with plaque buildup—the more plaque buildup there is, the more constricted the vessel becomes making it difficult for blood to flow through with ease).
When holding yoga postures, we want to send a strong signal—not overly forced, but clear, certain, solid, and unwavering. Remaining consciously and intentionally strong in our postures and consciously holding a strong signal strength has the effect of blowing anything clinging to the channel walls off and preventing anything from gaining a foot hold on the channel walls. Clear channel walls mean that energy (or life force) can flow freely with ease.
After giving good effort to clear our channels by sending strong energy wind currents through, it’s time to relax. Relaxation also works with the channels, but in a different way. Instead of sending wind through, relaxing dilates the channels, opening them up to allow an even freer flow of energy, life force, prana, chi, etc…, and with no particular direction this time. Relaxation is expansive and receptive. Keep this in mind the next time you assume shavasana at the end of your asana practice.
I concluded today’s practice with a recap of YS 1.1 and then introduced YS 1.2.
This Sunday yoga sequence was another amazing practice! It was rainy and cold outside, yet some of you made the short trek for some soul nourishment. On an apparently gloomy day, y'all brought the sun.
This yoga sequence featured the usual sun salutations, and a mixture of ashtanga and viniyoga -- so a mix of strong with soothing.
When engaged in asana, remember to focus on your breathing, as breath is the practice. When postures become challenging during the hold, and your muscles begin to tremble, don't focus on the challenge, focus on the breath.
Again, as promised, here are the notes addressing this morning's Sunday yoga sequence.
Enjoy! And let me know if you should have any questions. I'll stay on the lookout!
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