by Dayna Seraye | February 26, 2017 5:57 pm
Yoga is designed to guide you gracefully through turbulent times.
This incredible science of self-realization is a powerful path to lean into when life feels overwhelming, uncertainty takes over and intense emotions arise.
You see, the ancient yogis understood that each one of us is not simply a physical being, limited to a physical body in ordinary time-space reality. What we can see and feel with our five senses is not the whole picture…not by a long shot.
And today, scientific progress in neuroscience, physics and psychology is saying the same thing — that our basic senses do not perceive the full spectrum of reality.
According to Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist who contributed to our present-day understanding of atomic structure and quantum theory, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
There is so much more to this magnificent life than meets the eye.
And yoga gives us the perceptual framework, and direct pathways of practice, to realize this for ourselves.
So when your “small mind” or ego-nature gets caught up in worry or fear about what is happening in your physical life, yoga reminds you of your greater “Self” — the part of you that is always okay, no matter what is happening externally.
1) Embrace it. Change is the essence of life, and growth only comes through challenge. Think about it… how have the times of challenge in your life spear-headed your growth and evolution? Just like in our asana practice, we need to push our edges to experience breakthrough. When we hang out in our comfort zone, nothing new happens. We must be willing to tolerate the discomfort that comes from facing the unknown, in order to grow into the new version of ourselves that we are becoming. Begin to view change, chaos and uncertainty as an opportunity to heal, grow and transform. The renewed you is awaiting just beyond the visible horizon.
2) Practice, Practice, Practice. Focus on grounding, centering, stabilizing asana sequences. Move more slowly through your practice and focus on breathing deeply and fully. Oftentimes the feeling of chaos can bring us out of our bodies and we find ourselves consumed by fearful thoughts and emotions. Take your time to feel and attend to your body. Pause often and check in with yourself. Are you in your body? Draw your energy back into your center. Give yourself extra time in savasana. Luxuriate in stillness. One conscious breath at a time, rest into your uncertainty and discomfort, finding solace in the present moment.
3) Cultivate the witness. On and off the mat, cultivate what yoga calls your “Shiva consciousness” — the part of you that is pure awareness. The “small mind” or ego-nature is going to get caught up in suffering, constantly worrying about the past or scrambling towards the future. The witness part of you can simply sit back and watch these “fluctuations of the mind,” without attachment. It’s like resting in eye of the storm. The thoughts fly around and yet you remain centered, at ease and connected to the infinitely vast current of universal grace.
4) Hold a clear intention and vision for where you are headed. Sankalpa is a sanskrit word that means intention or heart-felt resolve. Sankalpa helps you to align with your dharma, or greater purpose in flow with the forces of the universe. In times of chaos and uncertainty you may feel as if you are in the center of the churning ocean, with no land visible on the horizon and no sense of how to get there. Sankalpa helps to orient you so that you may steer your ship and set sail in the direction you want to go.
5) Come together in like-minded community. We come from tribal roots and we need each other. When one goes through hard times, others are able to hold the space. Each one gets to take his/her turn receiving the support of the community, and together we raise each other up. Like the story of Hanuman, the superhero monkey God in Hindu mythology, who needed his friend Jambavan to remind him of his superpowers, sometimes we need each other to remember and activate our own greatness. Try attending a conscious event such as Hanuman Festival. Each summer, yogis convene in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies to grow, transform and celebrate together. Because we can’t forget to celebrate! It is super important to create space to celebrate our successes and give thanks in community for all that is good and blessed in our lives!
Hanuman Festival is a conscious and heart-felt gathering for yogis to come together in like-minded community to grow and transform. Experience the power of nourishing community to uplift and inspire your highest potential and wellbeing at one of Colorado’s only remaining yoga festivals June 15-18, 2017 in Boulder, CO.
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