Archive | 8:07 PM

Day 242: “you can tie your body in knots but without the essence there will always be a piece missing.”

30 Aug

I spent the day (and most of the night) at the Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival. I volunteered to help out in exchange for participating. What a good deed, win-win, I thought.

It turned out to be a greater gift to me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the class title for Saul David Raye‘s “Inner Alchemy:  Igniting the Fire of the Heart” — I just knew I had to be there so I signed up.  Especially with this being my year to lovemore+fearless.

The class promised to “focus on strengthening and activating the spiritual HEART and doing inner transformation through the 7 levels of energy within.”

And, focus on the heart we did. Tonight, I can honestly say I am moved, stretched and mentally drained, and energetically lightened in a very rejuvenating way.

I also participated in my first Kirtan or “chant.”

I left with these thoughts swirling through my head: 

1) We are ever-evolving and never “done” (isn’t that reassuring!)

2) Enlightenment is not a state to aspire to — it is not separate from our current being or something we attain to turn into — it is a state of being who we already are.

3) “Essence” is more important than the pose.

As Saul David Raye said:

“You can tie your body in knots but without the essence there will always be a piece missing.”

How true that is.

It made me think back to my very first hot yoga class — where I strained and stretched in order to “hit” all the right poses, while cranking my neck, looking up at the instructor and around at everyone else in the class to figure out what knot to tie my body into next.

The foreign names of poses meant nothing to me. Garudasana? Balasana? Shavasina?  What the hell were they saying?

Then the instructor announced that we “Type A” people need to stop comparing ourselves in yoga class and stick to our own mat, go at our own pace, and stop competing.

“She’s talking to me.” I thought as I strained my head to see if she was looking directly at me. I had never been told to stop competing before. I am a trained athlete. Competing is what I do!

But that whole new world of yoga exposed my inner athlete and all her self-conscious pursuits.

And, now, four years later, I am still trying to figure out what the instructor is saying. What pose comes next. Where to put my head and hands.

The difference is, today, I found myself dropping into Child’s Pose whenever I felt called. Taking a break whenever I needed it. I stayed flat on my mat in Shavasina as long as I wanted.

The competition was gone. Just breath, in and out, remained. 

And, really, it’s the breath that matters most.

As Saul David Raye explained today, our breath determines the length of our life. The deeper and more we breathe, the longer we live.

And that may be the essence of it all. 
No matter what, just breathe.

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