April; Moments To Pause
To simply sit and receive; that is the power of Yoga
This month’s newsletter is a little late. I’d been pondering over whether to send one earlier but realised quite soon that I was not ready before this moment. I needed time to reflect and I needed time to prepare. As all things go, this was art of a life lesson….and so it led me to our focus this month; moments of pause. This month is extraordinary from others; normally we try to choose one word that resonates with us. But this month there are three. 3 is such a significant number; mind, body, soul; past, present, future; here, now, next; breathe, believe, receive. Almost all nuggets of gold or metaphors seem to exist in trinities of words. And this little phrase is certainly a nugget of gold. For it is in the moments that we pause that true reflection can occur. Modern Western life teaches us to rush forward toward our goals and not to get distracted on the way. I walk with my dog and see people staring into phones, talking into Blackberries, reading magazines, newspapers or watching TV in their homes. How often do you see someone simply sitting and observing? Simply being? How often do you sit to listen, to watch, to rest? When we listen to music, it’s the pauses between the notes that resonate with the soul. When we practice yogasana together, it’s the pause between the inhale and the exhale; moments of such fullness or such complete emptiness that resonate with the cells. The breath makes us vibrate and pulse with life one moment; only to leave us empty and free the next. Heavy fullness interchanges with light effortlessness the next. It’s those moments of pause; those moments of stillness where the majesty of life dawns on us and makes us realise that now and here is the only moment that ever matters. Recently I overheard a friend’s conversation; they had taken someone new to yoga along to class and were laughing about how jealous they were that he could get into lotus position straight out; no effort. One mentioned’ it’s so unfair…how come they can get yoga so easily? And I have to try for years and still can’t get my foot like that!’ Those of you who practice with me regularly will know only too well my thoughts are that Yoga is not a pose. Your ability to practice Lotus does not mean you are practicing Yoga. In fact; your ability to practice any pose and be pleased with yourself about it means only one thing; that you need to practice way more Yoga! Because right there; in that moment of self-glory and praise, all you’ve done is given your ego a great big pat on the back! You are totally practicing the opposite of Yoga! My motto is this; yoga; let ego go. Yoga is everything the ego is not. Yoga is unity, selflessness, patience, reflection, compassion, non-judgment, fearlessness. Yoga is literally the opposite of ego. It is the undoing of everything you have ever been taught. It is moments of reflection and pause. It is heart above head; literally turning it all upside down.
The physical practice; the asana, is simply a way to detoxify, offload and cast aside anything that does not serve you. It’s a deep clean. It’s a practice; how do you cope when you fall? How do you train your thoughts; toward positivity or negativity? Are you fearless? Are you aligned? Are you in control? Do you feel whole? You can not achieve any yogic greatness; those moments of pure bliss, those currents of majesty, those surreal moments of enlightenment without letting go of ‘doing’ and just ‘being’. One of my students put it absolutely beautifully, ‘Yoga can not be taught. It must be felt’. So, I am away for two weeks later this month and I had originally intended to teach just one session this month, but on reflection I feel that I need to let go. Sometimes we get caught up in the ego and its tricks and desires. So as a result of reflection, I have decided there will be no sessions during this month. What I wish to encourage is some time for you to reflect. Take some moments to pause. Even just ten minutes a day; no technology, no noise, just space. Think of yourself as a blank space; what kind of notes do you wish to write upon that space? Are they words, musical notes, maybe lyrics? What does your soul whisper to you that you mind quietens or dulls out? Moments to pause can be walks in the garden, time with a loved one, creative writing, dancing, driving to a beach to watch the waves. No matter. But please; if you do one thing this month; be, feel, sink and soften.
If you can’t make class, but want to connect or need some guidance on your practice in any way, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org In the meantime I shall be reflecting in moments of nothingness; letting space and time carry me effortlessly. For creativity stirs and rises when we allow it to grow; like nature all around us; the most tiny seedlings manage to push through compacted dirt to give us flowers of great beauty. Have a beautiful, graceful, light-filled, wonder-filled month of April. Namaste, Maia