You’ve Found Yoga

You’ve Found Yoga

Yoga won’t find you, but you might find yoga. When you do, you just might be ready for it. Sign up with a card you’ve picked up or someone has given you and get¬†$15 off the term fee

Fine print: One card per enrolment. Photocopies don’t count ūüôā

      

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

The Present Moment

Most of the time we live in the past of the future. In the past we find the memories and experiences we consider to have made us who we are. Even recent events can surface to draw our attention backwards. Whilst making dinner we happen on something we did earlier that day. This memory triggers a scene that plays over in our minds as we chop carrots. Some days we get furious as we chop carrots thinking about the things we should have said to the person who riled us, let us down, offended or somehow made things more challenging.

As we play this story over again, we chop carrots more earnestly. Our grip tightens. We think on things we should have said, the things we might have done to show them. Take that. Yeah…I¬†wish¬†I’d have¬†said that…

Briefly, momentarily we return to the present and¬†pick up a new carrot…

The mind wanders again, this time into the future.¬†To all the things we might say to that person tomorrow. To set things straight. We may imagine talking to them, showing them how offended, riled up, or otherwise let down they’ve left us feeling.

We can’t avoid these incursions of the mind back to the future or off into the past. For all of us too, there are people who fire us up in some way. Regular practice of Yoga and meditation will limit the impact of these incursions.¬†Will¬†limit the hold they have on us and release the past and future, leaving us free to return more frequently to cutting carrots. After all the carrots have¬†done nothing wrong¬†to us. They deserve a present and engaged chopper, ¬†a present engaged parent to serve them up, and a peaceful home in which to share them.

And¬†the source of these things is nowhere but the present moment.¬†The moment we’re in right now. Every time.

The source of a more empowered future and less inhibiting past lies with our our practice of Yoga and Meditation. Through practice we equip ourselves to take up residence here in the present moment and to remain here despite the challenges offered up by an imagined future. As we continue to create joy and stillness within the present moment we encounter more joy and stillness in our dealings with the future. When it finally comes along.

Whenever that might be…

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter
Thought is Creative

Thought is Creative

Every thought you think is creating your reality. Thought is followed by word, and is followed by action. We think, we speak we do. All together, all of us are thinking, speaking and doing all of the time. This week we were reminded of the creative power of thought, through Louise Hay who says that:

“Every thought we think is creating our future”

– Louise Hay

What if we changed the thoughts we have. What if we believed the world was filled with abundance (it is actually) and that we deserved to have this abundance flow towards us(we do actually). The challenge is not to pick the thought, the challenge, as we soon discover is to reduce the noise of the thought that already exists in the background.

From our parents and others: “it’s a struggle to make ends meet”, we are “hard up” while others are “filthy rich”. From the media we find “Chaos in the streets”, “Crime on the increase” and all number of murderous realities. All these beliefs about what the world is expected to deliver for us help to create the future we experience. Our challenge as we practice Yoga is to reduce the volume of these background beliefs and increase the impact¬†of the stillness within us. To create for ourselves and others a more uplifting and inspiring beliefs and experiences. This is our journey with Yoga¬†and it is the very power of thought to create our reality which¬†makes Yoga and Meditation so crucial to ourselves and the society around us.

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Accepting Ourselves

Much of what we practice in a yoga class is awareness of what is happening within. ¬†We tune in to the sensations that arise during and after each practice. We observe the arising of thoughts and feelings throughout body and mind.¬†We’re left feeling uplifted and inspired with a new energy, we take with us into the world around us.

Right?

Sometimes not so much. Our practice offers many of these kinds of uncomfortable experiences. Looking within during practice, we sometimes encounter a demanding internal voice expecting us to feel a certain way, reach a certain point in our stance or stretch or even to look a certain way. We expect to feel lifted and inspired by it all. Surely (we say to ourselves) we can only be doing it right if all these things are true.

As always, this is true in class as it is for the rest of our lives.

Over time our practice of Yoga offers a unique opportunity to work with the more negative and critical aspects of ourselves. The things we come up against as we journey inwards. The parts of ourselves that demand more, in exchange for the promise of happiness and love. We notice much of the happiness, the peace, the joy we aspire to comes with conditions or hurdles laid out ahead. At best these are a struggle, at worst they are entirely impossible to overcome. This is in part because we have created them ourselves by our thoughts and beliefs.

Yoga is the practice of presence and awareness. We are challenged to accept with loving kindness what we find when we dig deeper and become more aware of ourselves. Our minds swirl. Sometimes with expectation or even criticism and doubt. We cannot have a truely authentic experience, unless we accept the truth we find when we look within. Whether pleasant or unpleasant.

Try consider what conditions you have placed on your sense of contentment and acceptance. Will a new job bring you the happiness you have always wanted? Will a new relationship or group of friends bring the contentment that currently seems out of reach? Will perfection of thought, action or Yoga pose be the thing you need to be happy? What else have you placed between yourself and a more inspired joyful life? How much effort will it take to get there?

The practice of Yoga offers an alternative.

“Self approval and self acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive change” Louise Hay

When we accept and approve of ourselves in the present moment, we soon discover and draw inspiration from any and all combination of friends, job, community or economic and political condition. We discover through practice that rather than being dependant on the external world for our happiness we are the source of all these experiences, whether blissful, joyous, harmonious and uplifting. Whether uncomfortable and confusing.

It all provides illumination for who we truly are.

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Louise Hay’s Points of Power

This term we use the 7 points of power described by Louise Hay to illustrate some very fundamental aspects of Yoga. Each week we consider one of the points as it relates to the aim of Yoga. Many of Louise’s points of power relate to the thoughts we have, the thoughts we try avoid¬†and the thoughts we would certainly choose if¬†we knew how much they could transform our lives,¬†our¬†relationships, our¬†success, prosperity and level of happiness.

Each week we’ll build on our experience of thought and gain greater¬†control over the relentless chatter of the mind. Through the practice of Antar Mouna (inner silence meditation) we reveal the stillness and quiet that is our natural state of mind.

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Inner Silence

de505aa9dd8271d4704803b812dea425

Yoga and meditation offer a path towards inner silence and stillness. But why are these so important and more importantly why are they so elusive?

In the yogic tradition inner silence is the state of mind where the thoughts rest or are absent altogether. One of the fundamental aspirations for those who practice yoga, it gives greater access to the present moment.

Inner silence comes when our thoughts slow down, or quieter completely, leaving behind  a pure awareness of the present moment, a pleasant state of awareness and clarity that allows for the space around us to be pure, natural and inspiring. We find this when taking in a beautiful scene in nature, a perfect moment of romantic love or when engrossed in a piece of work that combines the right amount of challenge and inspiration.

Typically we wait for these moments. We hope there will be one around the corner, to relieve our sense of boredom or to take us away from a nagging sense that we should be doing or feeling something more in life.

Sometimes we go to great lengths to achieve these moments. We strive for achievement, giving all of energy to our work, friends or family at great cost to our physical or mental health. We go on holidays to inspiring places or make improvements to our homes and living spaces with the promise that the sense of peace and calm we so strive for will follow.

We soon discover however that these moments, even if we can achieve them, soon pass and are once more replaced by longing or the nagging sense of anxiety.

Through the practice of yoga we uncover through experience, the cause for these moments, not by our external surroundings, our achievements or the feedback we gain from others. We discover the source to be rooted in the stilling of the mind’s constant activity.
We become engrossed and absorbed in the present moment to the exclusion of past experiences or future concerns. Through practice we gain greater access to these moments and greater control over the stillness that rests in each of us at all times. This becomes the reason for our practice.

Thanks for Sharing
Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter