For years the practice of Yoga has captured the imagination of both my body, mind and spirit.
There is something special that happens when the breath harmonises in movement with the body. When the mind is freed through the practice of letting go of being right, doing something right, looking right or having to prove something to anyone else.
Finding yourself in the moment. In the here and now. Being humble.
One breath at a time. One movement at a time. One thought at a time…
I call this P R E S E N C E .
There is a rich beauty about realising – (through showing up on the mat, in life, in your relationships, in your work) that even once you ‘know’ how to do something, a downward-faceing dog, achieve an outcome or a result in your work or know that making sure you are present with your family or partner is important… There is a beauty in realising that even though you may KNOW these things…. that knowing things doesn’t make a difference.
It is our PRESENCE. Our attention to the moment. To our yoga practice each day. To our bodies each day. To our work each day. To our loved ones each day. To ourselves each day. It is this that I call the real practice of YOGA, (union).
Each time you step onto your mat, arrive at work or come home to be with your family, that is where the real YOGA, the real joy in being alive, the real magic, the real practice is in action.
I love the subtle resistance that can arise sometimes when I step onto my yoga mat. The intelligence of my body humbling me to see and feel what would have otherwise remained un-touched and un-noticed. I love the intimacy with self that my Yoga practice brings. The inner dance of my cells as I move across my mat. As I am guided by my teacher to explore new oceans and lands within my body.
Being present and aware of the imperfections within my practice is what makes my Yoga practice feel complete. This is the beauty. This is the life juice. This is where the joy and adventure of being alive lives!
Resistance in life can be a stifling feeling. It can stop us – often at times when we need to break-through the most.
Resistance is a sign that what you truly love and desire is close. Very close. Infact, most likely just behind the corner of the barrier you are putting up.
Resistance is a gift. It is a blessings and when you can walk through those thoughts, those blockages in your body, those aches and pains in your being that wish for you to stay safe and not feel the very juicy goodness that your spirit wishes you to feel, then there is a sweet prize for you at the end. A prize that cannot be valued through money, fame or riches. It is the ultimate gift…
I N N E R – F R E E D O M .
You can experience this in your lifetime. We can all travel through the doorways of our resistance, whether it be around our health and body image, breaking through our physical pain, our emotional blockages and aches or a breakthrough in showing up to be present in our own lives, to receive that which is waiting for us, to be our true authentic selves, allowing all story, past beliefs and thoughts that do not serve us to drop away.
Life really is a practice. A yoga practice is a mini microcosm of the bigger macrocosm of our journey. Our work is a microcosm of our practice. Our relationships are a microcosm of our practice.
The practice is within. It lies with us. We are the ones, that we have been waiting for in our lives. It is you. It is me. It is all of us, showing up, with humility, with openness to grow and learn. With self-compassion and love. Knowing that we are on a journey. And as cliche` as this sounds, life really is about the journey, NOT the destination…
At the end of our sweet lifetime on this earth. It is not how ‘perfect’ we were at our head-stand in yoga or how ‘perfect’ we were in our lives that we will reflect upon and value. It is how loving we were – firstly to ourselves, and then with others – it is this that we shall look back on and smile about. The journey – the practice – the memories of how we broke through our resistance in that area or that area… with this person or that person… with ourselves. Being the best person we can be in this life. THIS is what we shall be proud of. THIS is THE PRACTICE.
This entire post was inspired by reading a gorgeous poem out of BKS Iyengers’ famous book, ‘Light on Yoga’.
Here is an exert that I wish to share… This poem is divine in every way imaginable. It encapsulates such beauty and the true essence of YOGA from my point of view. For those who don’t call themselves ‘Yogi’s’… Yoga means life. As in each moment we are uniting with the forces of nature, of the energies within our own being… You don’t need to show up at 6am to your local yoga studio to call yourself a Yogi. Living in harmony daily with self and others – being open to grow and courageous to meet yourself in each moment with self compassion and self love. This is my definition of a true Yogi. The Yoga is within.
…Song of the Soul…
I am neither ego nor reason, I am neither mind nor thought,
I cannot be hard nor cast into words, nor by smell nor sight ever caught:
In light and wind I am not found, nor yet in earth and sky –
Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,
No elements have moulded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:
I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evolution –
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss in dissolution.
I cast aside hatred and passion, I conquered delusion and greed;
No touch of pride caressed me, so envy never did breed:
Beyond all faiths, past reach of wealth, past freedom, past desire,
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is my attire.
Virtue and vice, or pleasure and pain are not my heritage,
Nor sacred texts, nor offerings, nor prayer, nor pilgrimage:
I am neither food, nor eating, nor yet the eater am I –
Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no misgiving of death, no chasms of race divide me,
No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:
I am neither disciple nor master, I have no kin, no friend –
Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.
Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower am I, formless is my form,
I dwell within the senses but they are not my home:
Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound –
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is where I am found.
Here’s to a life of divine practice in harmony with your entire being. Thriving, growing, dancing, moving, being – true to yourself in each and every breath.
x Om Shanti