Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mantra of Effort and Ease in Yoga

Patanjali Sutra 2:46 “sthira sukham asanam”, says “postures should be stable and comfortable”.  Or we hear the words “effort and ease”.

How many ways does this sutra guide or help us? 

How about making the “effort” to roll out the yoga mat or go to a yoga session.  Once on our mat, an “ease” as simple as “i am here”  can set in. 
Listening to a teacher lead the session might be an “effort”, thoughts like “I want to do my own version or the version taught by another teacher” can arise. It takes “effort” to move beyond these judgemental thoughts.  Exhale and for now listen to the words of the teacher, and also listen to your body.  Release any effort that it takes to hold a thought and just move.  

Once you find yourself in the shape of a yoga form, ease into it by focusing on the breath, "release any gripping", for now, breathe out. 

Don't look at the person next to you or into a mirror.  It will bring back the thoughts.  

Listen to your body, maybe it's time to take a pause and go into a child pose. Or listen to the teacher and move into another form.  Exhale as you pause into the ease.  Then again challenge yourself, with compassion and not judgement of self or another.

Let the mantra of "effort and ease" guide you in your practice.  

Take that thought and feeling into your day, in your interactions.  
End of the day write write how the day went, how this focus on “effort and ease” made you feel, made others feel? Did you achieve more with less? Was the day “effortless”, or did you feel you  were in a “flow?”

Friday, May 19, 2017

A spring day in May, 2017

With A lightness in my step, I set out for a walk.  

The air is cool, feels much cooler then the warmth of the past few days.  Then again this is May in the city of Toronto.  A city fondly referred to as TO.  

I walk with me and I.  The inner voice asks the reason for why I feel what I feel, earlier in the asana practice I had felt lighter, stronger, and more open.

I felt the chakras supported by the prana vayus.  "According to the yoga tradition, this far-reaching system of vital energy functions through five sub-energies called the prana vayus (vayu means “wind, breath, or life force”). Each function has a distinct role, and each is integrated into the total system of human energy. If we understand the role of each prana vayu, we can grasp how the forces of prana serve the whole person and how disturbances among the pranas lead to illness and reduced quality of life."~Rolf Solvik~

I sit and face the sun, the warmth of the sun feels supportive.  My right nostril is not as open as the left, the alternate nostril breathing helps in balancing both sides.  

With eyes closed the breath is the focus, the anchor.  A thought finds this opportune moment and I pause to reflect - "To understand the ancestral story and belief is like knowing where I come from.  The life I live, that is my story.  It is the present, the situation, the circumstances; my response of accepting or not.  Some choices have far reaching consequences.  Discernment! What is mine to do?"

Somewhere between last evening and this morning a thought occurred regarding patterns of behaviour.  How a 'karmic debt' takes a lifetime, sometimes many, to be cleared.  A tumultuous process, through challenges and tears, we clear the debt.  The clearing may be accompanied by a sense of loss; that moment when an insight reminds one to 'celebrate' instead of 'mourning'. 

I finish sipping my tea as these words are expressed on the iPhone.  


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A different kind of conversation

God: so what is the summary of this life?
soul: I focused on 'just love'
God: JUST love.  Love is!!! You are given an ego to help you navigate the incarnated life.  Humans forget that.  It's like being given a shovel to dig and plant the food to eat.  When you begin to focus on the tool - the shovel and begin to worship the process - the digging and preparing the soil, and forget that the planting is to bear fruit to nourish you and to share with others so they may be nourished.
soul: sheds tears of gratitude
God: showers the earth with a thousand fold petals

Thursday, April 27, 2017

In my travels

From abundance I found love, I also found the burden of expectations...

I saw, I acquired, I collected, and found that as "my" identity...

Then I began to unload, the weight of both the physical and the mental - both the weights equally heavy, I found the mental weight tormenting my emotions...

I acquire and

yet again,

I unload, and I travel, a feeling of lightness and space.  

I see, I feel, I love -  to walk away from it all, its not "mine to carry"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I am enough

I don't need to see my name in neon lights.  I don't need to be on stage waving at a cheering crowd.  There is no one who is able to give me the acceptance of who I am.  I do what brings me joy.  When I am able to help another it is because there is space in my time and the capacity to help.  If I cannot I am able to walk away without carrying any guilt.  
When someone helps me there is immense gratitude for them having taken the time and energy to be there for me.  Does it guarantee that I will be there for them? This is the toughest expectation not to live up to.  Just as it's reverse is when I have helped someone and they cannot be there when I am in need.  Maybe someone else will, that is the concept of 'paying it forward'.  

The expectations we put on ourselves and others on us, don't come from a negative place.  The consequences are negative.  The burden we carry when we cannot live up to them.  And also when we have lived up to them, it comes with another kind of burden. 

Much unraveling, and by opening layers of conditionings, sometimes reveal to us the real reason behind certain actions and behaviours.  Even so with all that is revealed 'staring in our face' we don't see or we look away because the honesty is too strong.

This log started off in my mind as I was reviewing reasons why I was holding on to a concept that I labelled a "dream".   The reality that showed itself as I lie in bed recovering from a bout of flu was stark.  I realized that a part of me wanted the dream to keep a hold onto  my passing years.  "I can still do it, while I have the energy", is what I told myself.  Maybe it was to give myself a reason to stay put in one place.  It could also be my unaware ego saying how much I have to offer this world.  

Then the realization that the center or physical space is not the answer.  Each person has their own journey.  An encounter with them through a yoga practice or a chance conversation can only guide them back to them-self the center that lies within. 

For myself do I really need any reason to justify where I want to live, how I want to live and what I do with my time?  All these are reasons to support the physical life.  A job or a business to provide the income to support oneself and the dependants. And time and passing years, nothing can hold back, its just the moments we get to cherish.  

For now I am enough!