¨Itś about the mystery not the mastery¨ –Tim Miller
Rise and salute the sun. 3-5 Surya Namaskar A & B. Start there. Surya is the sun god. Namaskar is to pay homage to the power of the sun. To practice Surya Namaskar does more though… metaphorically speaking this power packed, yet simple sequence awakens your divine power, your internal sun. It creates a sacred fire. Ride your breath along the great central axis which your body animates from; the spine. Along this axis prana is cultivated, awakened, increased. Over time you illuminate the shashumna, the most glorious nadi, the energetic counterpart to the spine. Union of perceived duality ensues and you witness Truth…. you are limitless, an eternal soul.
I’ve been trying for a very long time to be a Yogi. Lately I’ve been contemplating what that means… what does being a Yogi really mean? Here are some thoughts: A Yogi continually looks for the middle way. Moderation in eating, drinking, in all sensual activity.. in drama, media and gossip. Can we live in the world without being consumed by it? We try to practice balance, non attachment: within relationships, through emotional ups and downs, etc. Not easy. But if I want to be a yogi, it comes with the territory, right? A yogi is trying to align the body, to have a flexible, balanced, and open mind. We want both flexibility and strength…sukhum and stirum, in all aspects of ourselves. We want lightness, an ease of movement in the body, and throughout life. Strong on the inside, soft on the outside. But why is that so important? It’s obvious the physical practice of asana will give this to our body, but somehow the mystery of yoga gifts it to your mind as well. It infiltrates every cell of our being. The power of breath… conscious, controlled breath, is what truly locks ours attention. This task of moving and breathing has such a profound effect on the mind… it is the antahkarana, the bridge. And what is it we are we looking for after all…? We are looking for contact, and ultimately Union, with our soul.
The paradox is we can know this, but knowing doesn’t do anything for us. We have to experience it. Through experience we might catch a glimpse here and there, and then we might forget for a while. To fully integrate this understanding, we need to cultivate discipline. We must have a daily practice. This is sadhana. Some words synonymous with sadhana are practice, solve, realize, accomplish. A sadhana is a great accomplishment. It is done to solve real, or conceived problems. It is a method of self realization. What a wonderful tool for life! What this means is, if you’re really going to be a yogi, you have to show up, even when you don’t want to. As my teacher, Tim Miller says, a yogi doesn’t have the option. I’ve heard this many times, but as I’ve said, I’ve been contemplative lately on the subject. Passion, fire, and tapas don’t always stay lit. Often, we have to discipline ourselves to just step on the mat and start. When I hear Tim’s voice in my head, I surrender to my breath and stand in samastithi. I just start. I let go of expectations (non-attatchment) and let the breath carry me through the movements…. 3-5 Surya Namaskar, I start there. I don’t put any rules on myself about how many postures I do. I only tend to the breath. And suddenly out of the quietness. I realize I’ve done my sadhana, a great accomplishment. What’s more is its only 8 a.m. and I’ve got the entire day ahead of me. To hold yourself to a ritual brings richness to the mundane. To make something sacred requires sacrifice. These are the things I remind myself of, often. I have to practice not letting my mind tell my body how it feels. The mind is a trickster. All I have to do is get to my mat and start breathing. To practice being a yogi is so very rewarding. It holds such mystery and awe. The mystery is you… you are worth your time and commitment. Do your practice… and all is coming
- Blog post by Carol Curry