Warm sunshine beats down on her skin, filling her up with warm light energy. Her internal cup slowly begins to fill, energy awakens within. As she begins to run through the field her feet beat down on the long gras rhythmically, her handsbrush through the long grass and particles float into the air. The smell of freshly cut grass fills her nose with pleasure. A cool refreshing breeze, flows through her hair and sweeps across her neck sending a gentle shiver down her spine. Sights set on the lake up ahead, she runs a little faster. At the edge of the lake she plops herself down onto a rock close enough to dip her toes into the shallow water. She gazes at the mirror like quality of the lake, simple experience of tranquility at the waters edge. Dazzling at natures beauty in one of its most natural forms, she has no worries or fears, aware of all that is present. Her breath slows, and deepens as she finds the same tranquility within her own self.
Where the light is brightest, the shadows are deepest
I have always assumed that my yoga practice was separate from my life. Pretended it was a place to literally forget about everything and hide, shadow myself from the rest of existence.
In some ways it is true, you do forget about the rest of the world, responsibilities, and pressures as you step into presence. You walk into this place that simply asks you to be with what is happening in the moment. I with every molecule of my being considered running away from everything, as it would be easier that way, but no I stayed. My desire was not to run anymore, to stay and devise a plan to limit suffering. To stay in the moment is easier said than done in most cases, but with time it came to be easier. We do find a relief from the stress in our life through the practice. For those 60 minutes we experience bliss. Not bliss in the sense that there is nothing challenging us, no obstacles to overcome because that would be wrong. We find bliss in the experience of letting everything else go that will not serve the moment we are currently in. Why experience worries of the future, right now? It simply washes away our focus, and sense of calm with one big wave of emotion.
Through yoga practice we learn to face fear, overcome challenge, and build confidence in ourselves. We face the fear of falling, we overcome the challenge of your mind, and realize we are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. Each asana (a.k.a pose) is designed to release the body in some way through stretch or strengthening. The stories we tell ourselves start to expand from pose to pose, you aren’t good enough, flexible enough- “i mean jeeze look at that girl over there she can practically touch her head to the floor.” “Oh the teachers looking at me I better deepen the pose to show her how flexible or strong I am.” In Warrior 2 for instance my shoulders tend to get tired and I want to drop my arms so badly. Sometimes I choose mindfully to release the tension, other days I practice to push through the sensation. Why would you push yourself through the sensation of your arms burning? Well because just like in life it is a challenge and if we always decide to drop our arms because they are tired, we never develop our strength, and never learn to find comfort through difficulty. We are essentially just running away.
When I first began practicing yoga I would always move away from sensation. My legs are tired- oh I will just straighten them. My arms are tired- oh I will just put them on my hips. I think you get the picture. However it is through discomfort or challenge that we learn to find comfort that we learn to face the challenge and develop our inner strength- that is when magic happens. We realize our tendencies, mine simply to run away.
What is this magic? Well it’s awareness, it’s knowledge, and it’s presence. To be fully aware and conscious with the choices we make and why we make them. Most of us live our daily lives unconsciously. Thoughts and choices presented to us, and usually we shy away from the options that we deem negative or we do not particularly like. When we really love something we fully immerse ourselves in it, almost getting lost, and when we don’t we tend to run away. If we detach ourselves from results we limit suffering. Instead of clinging to the outcome we desire, simply let everything fall into place the way it is supposed to. This does not mean stop trying to achieve goals, it means accept all situations/people that present themselves, they are an opportunity along our path. They are presented to us as either a gift or for growth. They may be the support we need when we need it, or maybe they are our challenge that brings with it, magic. Either way they are a blessing.
There are so many people all over the world who have so much to say, they can contribute their voice on a monumental scale. With clarity in their mind and power in their voice they move mountains, influence others to act. Is it solely the conviction in their voice or is it something else- do we recognize ourselves in them- all we need is a little confidence and to connect our mind to our heart?
There are so many people who say they have confidence, but you look at them and their body language tells a completely different story. With shrugged shoulders, and no eye contact you know confidence is not among their strengths. As a person with deficit in that area it can be hard to find that inner strength or voice that can lead you to develop your voice and confidence. I accept that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be but there is a plan. Someone or something out there is looking out for me and things happen for a reason, there is always a reason things unfold the way they do whether it is as a blessing or a lesson we are given what we need in each moment, to propel us forward to dive deeper gain more insight, and move forward on our path. We do take breaks in our journey, to eat, drink, use the bathroom, stop and simply enjoy the view but life is not about staying stagnant and unmoving, it is about constantly learning and growing. When we learn to accept this, we learn to harness our inner power. Our inner power is the same energy that powers the Divine or Universe if you so choose. When you realize this, you know that you have extraordinary and unlimited power.
It is a power that resides within you, and everyone else on this planet- we are all one. We may all look very different, sound different, act different we all have that same potential inside of us that we can harness if we so choose. When we harness this potential this is when magic can happen.
From deep within the dark corridor
You begin to hear the howling
The sound of fear strengthens
Breath quickens with distress.
Heart beat expands to neck and fingertips
Emotions flood in and take over
Anger being the first to surface
rage fills and devours you into darkness.
Current thoughts and events fill the mind
like a cloud cover
But body reacts like upheaval repeats
to drag you back under
Delayed awareness infiltrates mind
After reaction and emotions manifest
Too late to withdraw
All that’s left is to recognize and acknowledge
Apologies, acceptance and wisdom follow exposure
The time will come
Patience and bravery will deliver attainment