I love Erich Schiffmann’s book ‘YOGA The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness’. He speaks in a way that resonates truth: his words feel familiar and comfortable to me, like a favourite jumper. I share with you a piece I particularly enjoy. It is about awareness, connection and presence; the benefits of a mindful, ongoing yoga practice.
“Deliberately be still. Close your eyes, relax and breath, be aware, and consciously experience your present moment of conscious awareness. Immerse yourself in your own unique feeling-tone. Feel you. Bask in the exquisite experience of being alive, of conflict-free high energy peace, and become thoroughly familiar with the core tone of who you are.
This is like dipping cloth into dye. Each dip of the cloth strengthens the cast of the dye and enhances the colour. Here, however, you are dipping yourself into you. You are experiencing you. Each time you do so, you become more you; that is, your sense of the authentic you is enriched. Each dip into the silent experience of you washes away more false ideas, which enables the real you to shine forth more clearly to yourself and others; that is, your sense of the authentic you is enriched.”
We can find this connection to self when we rest in savasana, as we hold a posture, or sit in meditation. When we hold our thread of awareness throughout the practice, it becomes more about the feeling, tone and experience of the yoga. We find an inner stillness that enables our authentic self to the rise to the surface of our awareness and into the light.
This thread of awareness can be observed and experienced on many levels. I invite my students to notice:
1. Any sensations or feelings from the physical body
2. The quality of the breath
3. The state of mind
4. An overall feeling or tone that permeates the entire being
How wonderful it is to take the time within your practice to truly observe, to be fully present; to be witness to the amazing changes that are taking place moment to moment. The opportunity to know yourself in truth, beauty and peace.
In practice, I find patience and peace
May all beings of all kinds,
in all directions
be happy and in peace.
Above and below,
Near and far,
High and low.
All types of beings.
Humans and non-humans.
Seen and unseen.
All the animals, birds, and fishes.
All beings and creatures,
With no exceptions.
May they be happy.
May they be free.
I open my heart
and accept the loving-kindness
of every being and creature
I let that love into my heart.
And I share the benefits of this
meditation with every one
May you all find joy and peace this festive season. Blessings to all.
When people think of yoga, it is often the postures that comes to mind – the physical practice (or Hatha yoga). For me, yes of course the physical work is important, it helps us feel strong and supple, vibrant and at ease with our bodies.
Yoga, too is a practice of awareness. It is this mindfulness that transcends the physical into a spiritual practice. A teacher of mine often referred to yoga as “Your Own Growing Awareness”. I like that. The wonderful thing is that the discipline we learn on the mat begins to permeate all aspects of our life. We “tune’ into our bodies and mind with a heightened sense of observation and from here anything is possible.
When we navigate the waves of our emotions and the chatter of the mind with increased awareness, we sail an ocean of grace as master of our own ship.
A beautiful poem by Roger Keyes titled ‘Hokusai Says’
Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient, every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive – shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is Life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength is life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
Over the past 12 months, my yoga business has really begun to grow. I have taken over the ownership of Bhava Yoga and Dance Centre (with Wendy Bradtke), run several well attended, successful workshops, completed online study on anatomy, biomechanics and core stability for yoga and run a weekend retreat in Hepburn Springs.
I have a vision for where I want to go, who I want to be and take the necessary steps to make it happen.
The idea of creating a vision board has recently come to my attention. It is a visual representation of your goals and dreams. It contains pictures and or words of things that you want in your life or the things that you want to become. By spending time creating and looking at your vision board every day, you are consciously and subconsciously drawn towards the things that enable you to achieve your dreams. It is then your responsibility to act on them. As the Law of Attraction states, we are responsible for our lives and we create our own destiny.
Now this is really interesting:
At the base of the human brain stem there is a small finger-sized control centre called the reticular activating system (RAS) that sorts and evaluates incoming data. Your RAS is responsible for filtering all the incoming information that your brain receives and it also acts as receiver for information that is tagged as important.
The process of creating a vision board is one of the best ways to program the RAS. It programs the RAS to pay attention to certain things in your environment that are in frequency with your goal or vision. This selective attention filter makes you aware of daily things that can help you achieve your goal and it’s your job to take action on those opportunities when they present themselves.
In a nutshell, to create change and bring what we want into our lives:
1. Know what you want and who you want to be (use this to create your vision board)
2. Write down your goals daily and/or look at your vision board
3. Spend time planning your day in line with your goals (EVERY DAY)
4. Implement plans. Take action.
Here is a picture from my vision board. I would love to have my own fruit trees.
Thought is creative, fear attracts like energy and LOVE is everything………
Autumn is the season for release, we see that around us in nature. Find inspiration in the autumn trees as their brown, red, orange and golden leaves are released and return to the earth where the cycle of life continues. In release we find the space to bring in something new……
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring;
It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off…
It’s the realization that I can’t control another…
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.