June 23, 2011

Still Waters Run Deep (or how I got my mojo back)

If you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.  Lao Tzu

As you embrace the present
and become one with it, and merge with it,
you will experience a fire, a glow,
a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every sentient being.
As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit
in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it,
joy will be born within you,
and you will drop the terrible burdens of defensiveness,
resentment, and hurtfulness…
then you will become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free. – Deepak Chopra

A few months ago at a studio in Scottsdale AZ. -( Zenergy Yoga now Yoga Village) We started a book club, the first book that was selected was Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga”.   I read it, we discussed it, I moved to Colorado, became a partner in a studio, started riding my bike to work and basically it got moved to shelf; along with the several dozen other yoga, spiritual, hypnosis, self-help, and philosophical books that used to accumulate in my life. (God bless the Kindle and it’s de-clutter effect and it’s help in discernment!)   I decided to dust it off and maybe try putting some of his words, ideas and practices into action.  From there I realized that with my new found responsibilities my classes were fast becoming craptastic re-hashed aphorisms. (everything I vowed I would never do when I started teaching 6 years ago – sure I had a class or two here or there, but this was three weeks of trite, unplanned globs of yoga stuff)  So was born my half cheating/half inspired focus on this book.  So yes I have 7 weeks of built in themes to explore and it was just this jumping off point that I needed to get myself back into fighting shape and back into some deep yoga.

Think what you will about Deepak, about the book etc. (I had some less than positive things to say when I first read it…but sometimes I’m a snob and geek)  In the end the principles a very worthy of visiting and the information is very useful especially if you are newer to the world of yoga.  For me the point is to visit the “laws” and see how we can integrate (or not) them into our practice on and off the mat.

  1. Law of Pure Potentiality

“the first spiritual law of success is the Law of Pure Potentiality, which states that at the core of your being you are pure awareness. This realm of pure awareness is the domain of all possibilities and underlies creativity in all it’s forms. Pure consciousness is your spiritual essence and the source of joy in life. The realm of pure potentiality is the home of knowledge, intuition, balance, harmony and bliss. Giving rise to thoughts, feelings, and actions, it remains undisturbed. This domain  is the womb of silence that gives birth to all forms and phenomena in life. It is your essential nature. At your core you are pure potentiality.”

The three practices suggested to cultivate this “law” in your life and practice:

  1. stillness – during asana holding and pausing in and between poses and of course a good long savasana
  2. witness mode – watch yourself practice, observe the world, especially nature.
  3. practice non-judgment – “while performing your yoga postures, relinquish the need to judge your ability”.  As you judge yourself less perhaps you will judge others less – notice how freeing this can be.

The suggested mantra: Om bhavam namah (I am absolute existence)

It was so necessary for me to pick this book up again and to begin here. I have been having difficulty writing, breathing, practicing recently and focusing on this “law” has been a salve.  To first accept where I am and not judge and then to recognize that I still have the potential for all things within me…my mantra has actually become “just for today”.  On Monday evening when I didn’t write as I had planned — I repeated – “just for today” and the more I let go. The less I strived. The more still I became the more I began to open back up.

Where in your life could you cultivate stillness? What space between the breath could you experience? How could you separate action and reaction?  Relinquish judgment? How could stillness and awareness of pure potentiality bring movement and flow back into your existence?

Asana (yoga pose) for the week:

Humble Warrior – bow to the divine, be still, accept today in all it’s perfection and imperfection — move into exalted warrior as you exhale and expand!

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Aminda R. Courtwright  |  Contribution: 9,785