My tenth anniversary of practicing yoga is coming up. I have learned so many beautiful truths by this gentle discipline. It has served my mind body and soul on and off the yoga mat. I could only describe this as my wisest love affair with truth itself. There has been so much undoing and un learning, I finally am starting to remember who I am. I was so attached to ideas of myself. Things I thought I knew. But we are just humans, just babies born onto a planet, in a star system far older and wiser then us. How are we to know anything at all? I am so grateful to the ancients to who discovered this practice to help me connect to the divine. Yoga is the science of the spirit.
Ten things I’ve learned in 10 years of practice…
- How to listen to my heart and in turn, listen to others hearts
- The poses come when I truly want them to.
- It took me ten years to realize who I am not and begin remembering who I really am. This is a practice of shedding ideas, identities and false notions.
- We are an antenna, when my eyes get tears, or have chills on my arms, that means my soul got the message.
- Heaviness in the body is only from heaviness in the mind!
- The breath is the portal to deeper levels of consciousness.
- Yoga teachers are like architects. The way architects understand structure, yoga teachers can help you access the potential of your home (in your mind body and spirit).
- There are always angels around you and people wanting to connect. Look up and out with your soul. Help is there every step of the way.
- Anahata heart chakra is the fourth primary chakra, In Sanskrit, anahata means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten. Meaning we are feeling pain and suffering only from our attachments. We can live unbeaten and that is our truest ability!
- The discipline of doing the yoga is actually more important then the actual yoga.
And lastly here is a poem I wrote last night to acknowledge my mental state on my 10th anniversary.
I used to know my soul.
My soul I used to know.
But due to life experience,
I started to out grow.
Then it took some time…
Many years, nearly ten?
To finally remember who I truly am.
There was a lot of yearning
Years and years unlearning.
But some how I’ve returned to seeing
My youthful truthful being.
There are immediate obstacles when one begins yoga. This causes many people to give up and quit. From physical discomfort to the lack of ability to focus it begins to hold up an uncomfortable mirror to our actual mental physical and spiritual shape.
Beginner obstacles and a way around them:
Chaotic mind: Focus on the breath, it immediately will drop you into the mind. Visualize your thoughts like a ping pong ball. Is it rapidly going back and forth and all around? Use your breath and slow it down mentally. Eventually it becomes a slow game of ping pong and one day, the ball will go completely still. The mind chatter will be silent. Experiencing a silent mind is the holy grail of a yogic experience. And it is very possible!
Stiff body: Surrender in the warm up, re connect with yourself and be kind. No need to criticize yourself. Speak kindly and lovingly to your body, nuture it and stay present. Rememeber your body is in a constant state of change. There will be things you can do one day and not achieve the next. Go with the flow and meet yourself where you are.
Weak body: Yoga is a very different kind of physical demand on the body. For starters, sitting down at a computer or driving in a car or flying for long hours takes a toll on our posture and deep muscle strength. Know that over time your body will become stronger and stronger from the inside out. Go at your own pace and rest as many times as you need.
Inability to focus: Stay with the breathing and focus on the alignment of your body, listen to your teacher they will be very specific about what to move and where. When you really begin to listen they will guide you in and out of the pose and time will float on by.
Distracted in the practice due to others in the room: Eventually in yoga, you detach from your senses and are so immersed in your body and silent mind, no one exists in the room. It is easy to be intimidated or self conscious but focus on your breathing and your body and how you feel that day. That’s all that matters. Over time you will notice less and less and grow ever more confident in your own practice.
Entering yoga practice armed with the knowledge of these obstacles one can EASILY surpass them. It’s knowing how to guide your mind through it effectively that will lead you immediately to a much more profound practice. The goal is to move beyond things in yoga that cause you pain and even things in yoga that cause you pleasure. It is about becoming the master of your “self” and remaining unattached to your mental and emotional fluctuations. Invite a sense of playfulness and joy into the practice, it does not have to be serious work!
- When I move my body it feels delicious.
2. I focus, breathe and slow down.
3. I cultivate the energy in my body and radiate outward.
4. Yoga unites the mind, body and soul into one experience. Then I direct it towards one goal.
5. I am deeply peaceful, blissful and at ease moving through this temporary world.