Finding ‘You’ with meyoga…

In Childs Pose we surrender to truly open ourselves up to receive, and also to give.  When I was a young girl an aunt sagely advised me to: “tread lightly in this life”.  It is only now, some years later as a yoga teacher,  that I understand the complexity and meaning of her words.

Spending a quiet moment away from the rush of life doing an asana practice is a nice place to go, but the test of what we learn about ourselves on the mat is in living a life of balance.  It takes a lifetime to learn to accept happiness and distress with detachment, as they seem to come and go as does the time and tide.  Like in Bow pose we try to strike the perfect balance of being fearless, taking responsibility for our life, and not giving in to difficulties, while at the same time staying detached from our actions and ego.

The greatest and most challenging relationship is with your Self, the part which can never be changed or damaged.  You will find that by consistently practicing yoga you will be introduced to practical tools to assist you on life’s pathway.  Try practicing Brahmari (Humming Bee Breath) by listening inwardly to the sound of your breath.  It can be deeply restorative and calming and may help relieve anger or anxiety because it reconnects us to the nurturing rhythmic pulsation of our own being.   It makes you feel good about yourself!

As you venture on your yoga journey take the time to gain an understanding of the Eight Limbs of Yoga as outlined in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in the second of the four chapters; the means (Sadhana) to achieve the Yoga (Union), must be read in context with your life.  The first of these is Yama (Ethical disciplines) of which there are five: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (continence), and Aparigraha (non-coveting).  These are the basis rules of morality for society, which if not obeyed bring chaos, violence, untruth, stealing, dissipation and covetousness.   At the essence of these evils are the emotions of greed, desire and attachment.

What does this mean for us?  According to Hindu philosophy consciousness manifests in three different human qualities or attributes, all of which are present in our selves, but one may be more predominant than the others.  Here-in lies the see-saw of our internal struggle for balance, which we may often observe as procrastination.

These attributes are known as the three Gunas:

  1. Sattva –  (the illuminating, pure or good quality), which leads to clarity and mental serenity.
  2. Rajas – (the quality of mobility and activity), which makes a person active and energetic, tense and willful and
  3. Tamas – (the dark and restraining quality), which obstructs and counteracts the tendency of rajas to work and of sattva to reveal.

Understanding your unique human condition by being ‘in tune’ with your attributes will allow you to identify your fluctuating emotions and strive to live a more Sattvic (balanced) life.  Remember Ahimsa, the first of the Yamas (non-violence to yourself)  –  practice this both on and off your mat.   If you have a hard weekend partying and satiating yourself and wake up Monday morning not feeling like getting out of bed, take stock of your actions.  Check-in with why you feel tired, angry, lazy, excited, happy or depressed.  Is how you are treating yourself and living a life out of synch stopping you from realizing your life purpose? Are your thoughts frequently optimistic or pessimisticNotice your breath and senses with love and kindness, and observe the changing outcomes in your life.  Remember to have faith in your yoga practice and gratitude for being present.

References:

Light on Yoga               BKS Iyengar

Myths of the Asanas    A Kaivalya

Bring Yoga to Life        Donna Farhi