You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.
“Conversation in the Mountains” Li Bai . . .
(pure adventure for the spirit)
Spirit is Adventure … and in the spirit of “the shift” that is imminent in our human evolution, this article is about adventure and loving Yoga for its Spirit (and attempting to attain a lightness about our collective shift in consciousness).
I fell in love with Yoga in its entirety because I was constantly told early on in my development to “jump in” – and that it would be an adventure. And that has always been true for me, for the self-discovery, the joy of the new, and the promise fulfilled … As a teacher now, I can assure you that even in shifting times, Yoga never lets your Spirit down!
So if you’re taking time out from the the intelligence-sapping mindset of consumerism, and the demands/desire energy drag of daily life and hopefully enjoying some precious moments in just “being” here are 3 ways to find the Spirit of Yoga and enjoy its adventures!
Be At-one and experience Samadhi – even if it takes you another few years to “get there”. It’s actually totally non-sensicle to try and give an essence of the ultimate state of Meditation in the short streams and downloads that we’re expected as teachers to deliver on the internet today. However, my lovely old meditation teacher Sam always told me just to go out and teach, everything helps, and all the threads in the tapestry eventually come together as realisation of the self.
Yoga is described as “the many threaded tapestry” in the sacred text of Yoga, the Upanishads
Grow your Heartspace
As teachers, we’re taught to inspire our students and practitioners with the beautiful truths, prose and poetry of the masters, teachers and mystics. I love what the Sufi poet Rumi infers with these words: what good is your heart unless you go out into the wide, wild wonder of the world?
Better said than done, I know, when you’re confined in small spaces, or uninspiring living conditions. But, in the Yogic tradition, hearts need independence for transformative love to flow . . . so, before or after trying any new practice, take a walk if you can and tell someone what they do is important to you.
“Take your heart out into fields of light” – Rumi
Focus on your Mindbody
Give yourself a massage! Bring your mind down into your body and focus completely on putting something back into your mindbody system for half an hour. Self-massage with oil in a special space you’ve prepared as your sanctuary used to be the weekly bliss “bath” ritual in Yoga in India: the oil massage is the ritual, the “bath” is absorption in the essence of meditation. It keeps the bodymind in a balanced place for all the experiences of Meditation, making it a more comfortable for the Spirit to “dwell”.
“This very body, this is Buddha” – Muso, 12th-13th century Zen teacher
And, in the spirit of growing your awareness with Yoga to shift your consciousness, why don’t you try a few short practices.
Walk. The walking meditation has always been an essence of Zen. Take 5 minutes and a regular route, focus on your breath, evening out the inbreaths and the outbreaths, and simply be conscious of your step, your body, the air you breathe. Be conscious of your heart and take your heart out for a walk.
Free Yoga practice. Why not just try some of the short practices that are free on Youtube: it’s the adventure of practice that’s important, and with enough dedication to practice you’ll probably eventually experience the wonders of At-one-ment!
Self mindbody care. Try self-massage at the end of the week in the Ayurvedic tradition: try to make it last for half an hour in a warm bath/shower room, use olive or sesame oil (not the toasted variety!) and have a warm bath or shower afterwards.
Enjoy your practice: practice is enlightenment!