You have been coming to practice once a week, or once a month. You are hungry to deepen what you can do, what you can find there. We could just keep on exploring the physicality of our movements / kriyas, growing stronger and steadier in our physical bodies, but you are so much more than that. Physical ability is a preparation for our thoughts to change; for the flow of energy that governs our lives to grow.
" There has to exist, through proficiency in movement, strength and stability in the circuitry of the body to withstand the increase in current that pranayama (control of the breath) practice will bring." - BKS Iyengar
We are always bringing in the light of awareness. Prana is always involved in carrying that light of awareness, only now as we practice we are consciously generating and directing it. We felt the pranic body wake and glow last month. Now we have the chance to use it to charge our inner awareness, our understanding of who and how we are, and how we can evolve.
"In yogic philosophy both energy (prana) and consciousness (citta) are considered to evolve directly out of cosmic intelligence (mahat). Mahat is the universal intelligence of Nature. The rocks have universal intelligence. Every leaf has it. Every cell of every creature has it."
Prana is our link to this infinite intelligence. Our breath is our most direct connection to our prana. This month we warm up the body, breath, and spine and then we come into three pranayama techniques. Three means of extending, expanding, directing, receiving the breath and the intelligence it brings along with it.
"We live within our individual consciousness with its limited intelligence, often felling lonely and puny, when there is a conduit available directly to cosmic consciousnes and intelligence."
Pranayama restores this conduit so that the intelligence bearing the energy of the macrocosm can illuminate our microcosm. Hence the name of our second kriya, "Experiencing the Essential You." We can feel ourselves reconnected directly through our experience of ourselves. No words, no thoughts, just the restful, bright stillness that is who we are at our core.
This month we slow down. November brought uncertainty in our political life, and there is the social busy-ness of the holidays to come. My gift to you is a chance to move lightly and purposefully, to develop your awareness of your breath, and to release both body into stillness and mind into meditation.
Even if you have never meditated, or if you have tried to sit and be still and found it unfruitful and so didn't return, this month's practice will be of great benefit. A chance to set all the pieces into place so that your mind is clear and the body prepared to receive the quiet of 10 minutes.
"Suppose you could take a pill to increase anxiety and increase contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further, the pill has a great variety of side effects -- all of them good, increased self-esteem, immune function, memory, and trust. Suppose finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Would you take it? The pill exists. Meditation." John Height, The Happiness Hypothesis
Sometimes I have a day in which sitting quietly seems impossible. My meditation feels frustrating because it felt scattered the whole time and my breath and body were cranky. I want to stop. But afterwards I know that by taking the time to sit and find quiet, even a shoddy quiet, I've changed something. That shoddy seat may have had a bigger impact on my day than I will ever realize. What if I hadn't sat with it, held it? Where else would that shoddy self show up?
Take the time this month to come and rest. We will move, you will be challenged, as ever. But we will have much space and direction for stillness and a connection to our innate intelligence. Come again and again to meditate in community, with preparation and guidance. You will find more than you imagine. I will keep you company.
I try to sit for at least 20 minutes each morning after my practice. But there are days when that gets interrupted or cut short. On those days I return to quiet again in the afternoon for 10 minutes.
For the days when I don't see you, I've made audio recordings. Please use them often:
- 10 Minute Meditation on the Breath (the one we use in class)
- 10 minute yoga nidra to reset the energy of your day
- 10 minute preparation for deep sleep
All of these are posted on my website.
We are meditating, not to become better meditators, but to connect with the Self within us that gets obscured in our busy-ness and habits. In the quiet we can remember what matters, and start from there. Again and again.
I hope to see you in December. If not, may you find the quiet you need to feel meaning and joy throughout the holidays. You are such bright, beautiful lights. I am grateful to know you. xx m
Save The Date: January 1, 6-8pm @FedHill
Start your year with a full kundalini class of movement, breath, chant and bright, shining rest to start the year! See you there xx
“Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.” - Pema Chodron