BEING RELAXED AND ALERT
(Continued from Tantra)
There are many faces of Yoga. Ultimately, yoga (that is, the face of the divine) is everywhere. If you feel stuck on your yogic path and you feel you need to expand and try something new, ask yourself a few important questions before any big changes:
- What motivates my desire for change?
- Is the desire to move coming from a place of agitation and constriction or from a place of expansion and ease?
- Is this period of transition a reflection of me having met aspects of myself I find challenging and am trying to avoid by changing my practice?
- Is this the voice of my soul guiding me to expand into new areas of possibility?
As a rule of thumb, when I first started my sitting meditation practice, I would allow for the voice that said “enough, time to go” to come knocking three times before I got up from my cushion. Our minds are hungry. We tend to be agitated. Our egos want. We are habituated to feeding these tendencies. Spiritual practice is about overcoming and retraining these tendencies so that we may experience eternal bliss. We must therefore train our mind into moving through and beyond these hungers so that we may be truly fulfilled.
I believe deeply in the notion that digging many holes leads to just a lot of incomplete holes. But by digging one hole deeply, you will strike gold. It is important to stick with a practice, but one must do so with a sense of serious delight, focused playfulness and surrendered joy.
If you feel you are not moving away from your practice from a place of avoidance, always trust your gut when you feel drawn to try something new. Another rule of thumb is that that which feels rooted, vital and expansive supports your highest good and, as such, the highest good of all. That which feels constrictive and ungrounded is not in your highest good and is best released.
I do believe we are on the planet to have fun, to experience the bliss of the divine. We learn in both Hatha yoga and meditation practice to balance that which is alert and that which is relaxed. Discipline, when overly rigid, limits. But too much free flow is unguided and has no clear avenue for expression.
If you have developed a practice that is disciplined, keep that fire alive. It will serve you well. If you need more flow, do so in ways that bring delight into your life. See if you can shift your practice into a sense of freshness. What has been habitual may be experienced as new, with a beginner’s mind.
Ease up where you have been tight or pushy. Apply more attention where you may have been missing aspects of the practice. But above all, remember that yoga is not limited to your mat. Yoga is in how you perceive your mat as well as how you stand on it. Yoga is everywhere.
May we become fully awake so as to experience yoga everywhere, always.
May we all realize oneness soon.