“The mind generally takes up various objects, runs into all sorts of things. That is the lower state. There is a higher state of the mind, when it takes up one object and excludes all others.” - Swami Vivekananda
This is what I have been thinking about lately. It is so easy to show up to my mat when I’m happy, the sun is shining and my ducks are in a row. It’s much harder to show up, really anywhere, when I have squirrels and they are at a rave. This is a meme that’s been on FB lately and it’s funny. Funny things are often funny because there is a kernel of truth at the heart of the joke. Last month I wrote about expectations, especially expectations about who ‘can’ practice yoga, specifically from the point of view about the ‘right’ type of body. Recently my thinking is about, do you have to have the ‘right’ type of mind to practice yoga? Must you be calm, peaceful, loving and in a state of bliss to practice yoga? If so, I will put my hand up first to say that I’m ‘hooped’ if these things are a pre-requisite for me to practice yoga. I’ve also written in other newsletters about my relationship with anxiety (on FB if I had to describe this relationship I would say it’s complicated), I’ve had great conversations with some of you about your experiences with anxiety as well (thank you for sharing that with me, it’s helpful to know we are not alone) so in short (rather in long I guess) I am often on my mat and in my life on the world mat with a mind that is whirling. The beautiful thing about a consistent yoga practice is that the mind and the body have the potential to be settled and quiet. How can a body be settled and quiet? An active mind often translates into a very active body full of unwanted sensation – aches & pains, nervous tension, insomnia, stomach upsets – and by our physical movement, our breath awareness, our concentration and focus – things settle. By bringing our whole jumbled selves to our mat we can be transformed each time and remember that we not only are jumbled, but we are also put together, our mind not only has the potential for chaos but for order, we are not only inflexible and weak but we can find unexpected flexibility and strength and that the best we can do on any given day is show up, to our mat and to our life, no matter our state of body or mind.
If you are interested in the intersection of your mind and body, within your yoga practice, there are some interesting workshops coming up in March: Yoga For A Balanced Self with Charlotte & Kelsey and Pain Care & Yoga with Natalie, look for more information in this newsletter, on our website, in the studio, and on Facebook for dates and times.
I’m always interested in your feedback and comments, in person or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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