Monday, January 31, 2011
Yoga gives us the opportunity to feel. To REALLY feel. How often do you go through a day without pausing to feel your breath moving through you or to feel your heartbeat or to notice any sensations in your body? It's so easy to be cut off from feeling and to live in our heads, moving through our schedules and thinking our way through the day. This month, I have decided to challenge myself to FEEL my way through the day, to actually listen to what my body is telling me and to actually allow myself to feel whatever comes up. Amazingly, the simple act of being sensitive to your own feelings can help you navigate through interactions with others and help you make decisions about how to act (or refrain from action if such is the case). This is particularly true on the yoga mat. The body responds best when we pay attention to how we are feeling. To pay attention, it is necessary to turn down the volume on the mind. One way to do this is to follow your breath. The breath creates a link between the body and the mind because you can follow the breath with your mind while feeling it in your body. It allows you to pay attention to feelings from the most obvious to the most subtle. When we allow ourselves to experience sensation and emotion, we form a more meaningful connection to ourselves and to others. The month of February, with Valentine's Day at its center, is a wonderful time to form these connections. It is a wonderful time to feel the love in our hearts-the love that is always there. Even though we may think we get love from others, others simply remind us of the love that always lies within us. No one can remove it even if they remove themselves from your life. The love is intrinsic. According to Shiva-Shakti Tantra, the philosophy of Anusara Yoga, everything and everyone is intrinsically good. Our bodies and minds are gifts to help us remember and to celebrate our intrinsic goodness, our loving essence. By practicing yoga, you have the opportunity to remember and to physically express this loving essence. Take a breath, dust off your heart and let a wave of love for yourself wash through you. Take your shoulders back and tilt your heart to the sky and the loving essence begins to radiate. Yoga, in its simple magnificence, increases our capacity for love.
I hope you're feelin' it this February and always.