If you are reading this, please take a deep breath.
Hold a bit longer.
Breathing. Something so simple, integral and yet so powerful.
Awareness, presence, focus and calming all flow from this basic natural process.
Breathing is the constant gift we give to ourselves as we engage ourselves and the world around us.
I started yoga teacher training about a month ago and I have just under a month left.
I have a long way to go and a lot of studying to put in before my final examinations.
One of the things I am coming to terms with is that I’m not breathing when I teach and I often get into my head, which then leads to my amplification of my own fears and short comings.
My focus with my remaining time is to cultivate the same equanimity and centeredness in myself that I one day hope to serve those I teach as they journey towards the same while in my class.
I’m grateful for this experience and I look forward to making yoga a life long practice.
There are so many things I enjoy about the process, I love my classmates and my teachers, the environment is extremely supportive and safe which is awesome.
We are authentic, and humorous. Present and helpful to one another.
Aside from learning about asana sequencing, proper alignments, anatomy, Sanskrit, how to give proper adjustments, yoga for pregnant women, seniors and people who have limited mobility, I’m enamored by the philosophy and spirituality of yoga.
IT’S FUCKING AMAZING.
Yoga opens us up to a state of being where the world passes transparently through us
Around this time last year, I walked away from being a Christian, which is something that I’d known basically my entire life.
One of the things Jesus is quoted as saying is that his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
His yoke, in context (and for Rabbi’s in general) was in reference to his teaching.
His teachings about repentance, the coming reign of God, the two great commandments, and the admonishment to follow him, were his teaching / yoke.
I’ve wrote often on this blog about why I lost faith so I won’t go into that further.
I bring up “yoke” because it’s similar to the yoke or union that is found in the root of the word Yoga. Union.
The entire path of yoga, from beginning to end orients the practitioner toward a life of reunification – Michael Stone
I essentially walked away from deference and worship of the First Century Jewish World Changer to a life of autonomy and self discovery.
In that self discovery I ended up laying down one yoke for another yoke.
After leaving Christianity, I embraced Agnosticism, Mysticism, Humanism, Polytheism (I’ve prayed to different Orisha, my ancestors, Shiva, Brahman, and even to Life as I now believe Life to be a God/ God) and now, I’ve begun to embrace Yoga as way of life and spiritual exploration.
My spirituality is constantly evolving it seems and it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
For me it’s a reflection of the constant change of life.
One of the biggest lessons I am mining at present is the impermanence of life, thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions and the guidance of navigating all of life, thought, sensation, and emotion from a place of awareness instead of blind submission.
It’s something that I believe I will pursue all of my life.
I believe my desire to pursue equanimity and compassion will be wrapped up in this lesson.
Thank you for stopping by. I’ll leave with two excerpts from one of the books I’m reading for my Yoga Teacher Training. It’s called the Inner Tradition of Yoga: A Guide to Yoga Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner by Michael Stone
“When we take ideas taught within yoga tradition as ultimate truths, yoga becomes dogmatic and oppressive. Then there is always a practitioner, like Rama in the Yoga Vãsišta or Arjuna in the Bhagvad Gità, who asks, “What do these elite practices have to do with my suffering and my life in the face of death? What is this life that I find myself in?” For the student who approaches practices and teachings with an open and critical mind, practice and awakening become less to do with ideological or orthodox understanding and more to do with a response in the here and now to the great questions of life. Yoga is not about conforming to other people’s definition of practice but simply an authentic response to the questions presented by our life, our path. If yoga points at the truth of existence, that very existence must be available to us in every moment, not as a new belief system or a utopia to arrive at in a future life, but something we can touch, maintain and discover for ourselves.”
– Michael Stone, The Inner Tradition of Yoga , A Guide Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner
I hope there is light and affirmation in it’s pages for you.
Lightness and Light.
PS- I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of what’s going on in my busy life as of late which is what I tend to do on this blog so in brief I’ll just say.,I’ve moved back to Atlanta after spending the past 8 months traveling around the country full time for work. I started a new job and I work crazy odd hours that my body is still trying to get used to. I’m in Yoga Teacher Training obviously and also still very much in a committed partnership that I’m grateful for. One day at a time. Here’s to growth during the constant changes of life….