Thursday, May 28, 2020

The trials and tribulations of committing to yoga.



The Yoga Emporium started the instant my body, unfamiliar with the postures and breath-work, took to the flow of yoga in 2005. Uncertain about the movements but drawn to the possibility of silence – both inside and out – I leaned toward the idea of yoga without actually committing to the physical practice all too often. 

After first attending a yoga class, I spent a lot of time thinking about yoga – my impressive penchant for thought often outweighing my participation. I would plan for days in advance the yoga class I was going to attend, and then when it would come time to head for the door, I would swirl excuses around in my mind, until finally settling on a convincing story. Why was it so hard to commit to yoga, something so positive and immeasurably beneficial?

Us humans, with our rationale and dynamic thought processes, are so capable of creating a whole alternate ‘reality’ within our minds. So often instead of feeling with the heart what is best we think and mull, leaving matters in the hands of the untamed mind. When the mind starts to chatter we allow these flighty thoughts to tear us away from the powerful asset that is our intuition, our heart. 

So – how does one reconcile this matter of internal division? How do we steady the thought-parade and turn the way of the heart? Well, thankfully we are all very well equipped for this task. Ready for it? Breathe. See your breath as an all pervasive force that connects you to you and you to the world around you. Watch and feel your breath as it enters your body, expanding your corporeal existence then exiting, dancing into the atmosphere around you. This is a good start.

This was my first order of business and is perpetually at the top of my to-do list. Feel my breath, steady my mind on the breath, and connect to this thread of presence. You can then allow thoughts to dissipate in favor of turning your attention to the breath – a force that is always there and always available to you. Like a bubble machine, your thoughts will persist and keep on floating through your mind. But instead of chasing these bubbles – these thoughts – you can choose to simply watch them float away – allowing yourself to turn from the busy mind to the steady heart. Try it. I am willing to wager that you are currently breathing right now anyway, so why not pay this phenomenon a little attention?

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