Breathe in. Feel the aliveness in that breath. Exhale and feel how, through your breath, you are vastly interconnected with the dance of life.
Every breath we take is in harmony with a breathing universe that pulses and flows just as our in and out breaths do. It is as if everything that is exists within one giant lung. The pumping of our hearts and the shifts in the tissue that makes up our bodies are in sync with the ebb and flow of ocean waves. The synapses in our brains that go off and on to create thoughts are like the sparkles in the stars that light up the night sky, or the auric field that shimmers to make a tree or a flower look so alive. We are literally one with all things.
Through my Hatha Yoga practice and teaching, I have come to know that any form of movement that arises from wanting is one that perpetuates or creates karma. Whether we push into a pose and reach for some elusive sense of externalized perfection, or move out of a pose feeling uneasy or even repulsed by what we felt in it, we are acting from an unyogic, that is, non-unified or divisive, state of mind. This will only generate suffering for ourselves and others. At its heart, Hatha Yoga is not an end in itself, but a powerful alchemical crucible in which we can witness the transformation of our consciousness from wanting to presence, from brokenness to wholeness. Yoga poses are a metaphoric training ground for the positions in which we find ourselves as we go about our lives.
Though the hare can do all sorts of fast and fancy footwork, ultimately it is the tortoise who wins the race. He moves with a quiet assurance along its path, without fight, without resistance, in humble surrender to what is.
Every action is part of a whole. We exist within one flowing continuum. There really is no starting and stopping or beginning and ending. We see our actions as finite, but everything we do affects a greater whole, beyond what we could ever conceive. Our place in this universe is perfect, precise, and interwoven into a fabric of existence that extends beyond our perception of a finite self.
May we meet each moment, as it is, with mindful presence and with a heart willing to humbly serve.
Take a moment and look back at the yoga practice we have explored together so far each month. Begin with Savasana, then go to Lengthening the Spine, The Breathing Wave, Wave Body, and Lying Twist. String each pose together as one flow. Allow the breath to guide you from one physical position to the next, without pushing, without wanting to be other than where you are. Feel each inhale rise effortlessly out of the exhale. There is nothing that you have to do to make it so. Just as you are within an intelligent whole, the very force of life will move towards the inhale. Feel the same in the exhale, how through it, you effortlessly release back to the sense of whole.
Notice any tendency to want to control your breath or movement. Allow your yoga poses to be guided by your breath awareness, so that action arises out of a deep sense of stillness and interconnection rather than wanting to be other than you are.
Parvati is an award-winning musician (“I Am Light”, “Electro Yog”, “Yoga In The Nightclub”), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (“The Grace Mindset”, “Aonani of Avalon”, “The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness”) and founder and CEO of the nonprofit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.