Asanas and me.

 

My practice of yoga postures or asanas is the practice of creating space in my body so that when I leave my yoga mat, that space remains. Emotions and thoughts are free to enter and flow through my mind without attachment.

Asana is one part of my yoga practice. Sometimes my asana practice is difficult and messy. Sometimes I fall, and I get up again. I place my body in situations with mindful intention. For me, this translates off the mat into finding a bit more ease along life’s journey.

Asana practice is remembering that all things are impermanent. The discomfort or even fear in a pose is temporary, as is this precious human life.

Asana practice is a moving meditation for me.  When I am linking breath with movement, the only thing I can do is be present.

Asana practice is a tool and a metaphor for mindful living.

Set and an intention that is pure. Work mindfully toward the fulfillment of that intention. You will struggle. You may fall. You will get back up. You may lose your breath, and you will always come back to it. You will create the space to accept these truths because both the physical body and the mind are opened and tension is released. Judgement is abandoned and the present truth is accepted.

When practiced with pure intention in mind, asana practice creates positive energy and merit that we can then dedicate to other sentient beings in their struggle to find happiness.

Asana may be difficult, and for good reason. The difficulty of a balance like Warrior 3 is nothing compared to the intricacies of human relationships. It is what I learn on my mat with dedicated practice that guides me and helps me face truths about myself, others, and the world we live in. In facing these truths, I am always practicing yoga.

A flag doesn’t hold on to the wind, yet it couldn’t be more immersed in it. Our job is not to stop or gather the life of feeling but to let it keep moving through us, the way a flag opens itself to the wind.

-Mark Nepo  from The One Live We’re Given

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I’ve been thinking…

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Houston, I think we have a problem.

Imagine a human standing in front of you asking you a question.  It is not the easiest question for you to answer.  In fact, you would rather turn, run in the opposite direction and dive into a hole filled with fat,slimy earthworms than answer the question.  But this person is in front of you. Face to face.  Eye to eye.  Nose to nose.  So you dig down deep inside of you and you find the courage to answer the question to the best of your ability.  Phew. That was hard, but you did it, and it may not have been the perfect answer, but you faced the question and you did not run away. I say good for you.

Texting.  It’s a bit crazy to me how this technology has severely wounded the sensitivity and even common sensical part of human nature: we speak. we listen. we respond.

Curiously, with a cellular device in our hand we transcend humanity and become the all-powerful, fearless immortal.  We kick aside three of the four Buddhist virtues: compassion, empathetic joy, and loving-kindness. Suddenly, a person writes things that they would never say in person or they avoid completely questions that they do not want to answer.As far as practicing non-reaction?  You just  hit that send button and shoot of something that has the power to ruin someone’s day.  You don’t have to look at that person and see the damage your writing may have done. Worst even, maybe you don’t even care.

I like human voices.  I like to see smiles and hear laughter. One of the things that I deepened my understanding in through yoga is the power of touch. Humans!  We need to work on this.  We need to teach others to do this.  I believe it will increase happiness in ourselves, our homes, our communities, and maybe even someday in the world.

Remember this.  Those great memories that you have were not from reading a screen, they were made from hearing words or doing things with others, or maybe with the help and support of others.  People give hope to one another with the power of eye to eye contact, and the intonation of our voices.

Lifting each other up, cheering each other on…are not products of technology. Let’s be mindful with our writing.

I was just thinking about that.

Tree.

It’s weird.

For 18 years, 11 months, 24 days, 13 hours, and 51 minutes I have known that he would be home soon.  Maybe in a day or so; maybe a week.  Whatever it was he would be here soon enough.  Well, something just changed, and it’s good change, and I welcome change.  Today, however,  in seat 5B flying over Cheyenne, CO en route home from Los Angeles to Boston,  I thought to myself: “Wow.  They were right.  That was fast.”

College.  He is not coming home for a long time.

Why Tree pose then?

Your foot stays rooted in the ground, and you find your balance as your breathe and reach your arms to the sky in growth.  Sure, your body may sway a bit like the branches do in the wind.  As you keep smooth and steady breath, you allow for those movements through the spaces you have created around you.

On top of the bluff, I see the expanse of Los Angeles in front of me.  I am confident that this young man who came into this world through me is ready to journey on; to fulfill the dreams he has created for himself.

And so then, to my son…

May you at first be still and root yourself into the new ground that you walk upon.  May every inhale bring you peace, and every exhale send your kindness and compassion out into the world.  May you find balance in your new life as you grow your own branches with a quiet, confident, open mind.  May your branches sway when winds of change arrive, and when you lose your balance, may you get back up and stand strong once again.  May you realize the power of standing tall and proud, and may you’re heart always be open and shining toward whatever lies ahead.

Love, Mom

 

L.A…Be good to my buddy

L.A…Be good to my buddy