Month: December 2014

Song of the Soul by Sankaracharya

As part of my RYT I was required to read Light on Yoga. At the end of the introduction there is a lovely poem/meditation. This song is all about the last limb of yoga, samadhi, or bliss/enlightenment. A goal of a yogi or yogini is to reach this blissful state. Here in samadhi there is nothing, just supreme happiness. We are not who we are, we are not what society says we are, we are not what are friends or family thinks we are. We are just happy and everything is lost. As we practice yoga throughout our lives we may only reach samadhi once, maybe twice, or maybe never. Just like a Christian strives to be like Christ and make it to heaven, samadhi is for the yogi/yogini.

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I am neither ego nor reason, I am neither mind nor thought,

I cannot be heard nor cast into words, nor by smell nor sight ever caught:

In light and wind I am not found, nor yet in earth and sky–

Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful am I.

 

I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,

No elements have moulded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:

I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evolution–

Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss in dissolution.

 

I cast aside hatred and passion, I conquered delusion and greed;

No touch of pride caressed me, so envy never did breed:

Beyond all faiths, past reach of wealth, past freedom, past desire,

Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is my attire.

 

Virtue and vice, or pleasure and pain are not my heritage,

Nor sacred texts, nor offerings, nor prayer, nor pilgrimage:

I am neither food, nor eating, nor yet the eater am I–

Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful and I.

 

I have no misgiving of death, no chasms of race divide me,

No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:

I am neither disciple nor master, I have no k in, no friend–

Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.

 

Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower an I, formless is my form,

I dwell within the senses but they are not my home:

Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound–

Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is where I am found.

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there’s no crying in yoga! or is there?-The Time I Almost Cried in Savasana

Let’s start of with a few terms shall we?

kripaa/kripa: sanskrit for “grace”, but can also be used for “deep love”, “mercy”, “divine grace”

rainbow: a covenant from God promising us that he won’t flood the Earth again, also a symbol of hope

support: to hold up, bearing weight

savasana: the last pose of all yoga classes, where you lay on back, total rest/ultimate relaxation. Also known as corpse pose, because yogi’s imitate a dead body because once the spirit has left the body all motion stops

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I am an emotional, passionate, Fire element individual. Yet, don’t ask me to show you my emotions in public. I do not cry in front of people, I do not let go, I am not vulnerable (I have written about this a few times before). I am very guarded but slowly, ever so slowly,  my walls are breaking down.As an empath I feel a lot of emotion and sometimes it is overwhelming. I begin to feel someone else’s pain or tears and my viscera starts to turn and swell. I want to be there with them….BUT that means I would have to share that with others, GASP, I might cry in front of people. No thank you. I hear my peers talk about crying in savasana, they cry in check out, some just cry at the drop of a hat. Frankly it is annoying. I sit there in the circle and think, “Give me a break! Why don’t you suck it up? I have depression, an ED, GAD, and going through a huge transition in life and you don’t see me cry”.  Then Patanjali’s 8 Limbs and Jesus enters in and shows me that this is not very Christian, and it also violates ahimsa (non-harming). Instead of me putting my projections on others (something I am trying to work on), maybe they are in the right. Maybe it is me who has a problem. Maybe I need to let it out. Let the tears flow. Give up being strong for a brief moment, and be held…..

Being held….that takes me to my latest RYT experience.

Sunday we were blessed to have the amazing Joe Taft for the day. I have never had him before, but from the moment he walked in Mountain Yoga, I knew he would be an amazing spirit and teacher for my peers and myself. After a two hour lecture, he lead us in a masterclass that was open to the public. So all my yoga mentors and my yoga peers were all gathered in one room. The energy was electric, and there was support. All of us yogini’s were there for the other. We were there for the other on our right, on our left, in front of us, and behind us. Joe then preceded to tell us an amazing story of one of his clients and how he found yoga not on a mat but through a rainbow, to be more specific, a double rainbow. We were then guided through the intention of finding the rainbow. Making our bodies a double rainbow by arching the front of our torso and arching our back torso. We were also led to feel the support of that rainbow and the support of whatever we believe in (be it God, nature, other spiritual aspect). All through the class we were constantly brought back to that, especially in the hardest of poses. Which correlates to when we are in the most difficult of times we need to find that rainbow, find that support (for me it is Jesus, his grace, and my husband). ***I always love the moments I meet Jesus on my mat, and when yoga and Christianity just intersect together***

Asana after asana, flow after flow, cosmic surfer after cosmic surfer, we started to cool it down. Take the breath back in and find our way into our savasana. As myself and my fellow practitioners are lying there in savasana Joe talks about kripaa/kripa. Joe describes the feeling of being held by something that is greater than ourselves, what he likes to call the universal (for me, again, that is Jesus).  All of a sudden I am surrounded by Jesus’ grace, I can fill his mercy and lovingkindness. I am full. I begin to pray, as I always do in savasana, thanking God for his grace and this feeling that is pouring out through my heart, and then…..I begin to fill my tear duct swell. Tears? Tears in public? It can’t be!?  Instead of hiding from it fully, or avoiding like I usually do, I decided to just be there with that sensation. What it feels like to almost cry in public. Just what it feels like to have those tear ducts swell and the face start to get hot and melty. I didn’t cry out loud, but it definitely was a great experience to almost have it. And honestly, if I would have cried out loud, I don’t think I would’ve been embarrassed. Why? Because I could then share the love of God and his grace and how it can, as a song says, be an ocean and sink us.

As I sit here today writing this entry I still feel that grace supporting me. That grace, that mercy, that kripaa/kripa, holding me. I look for that rainbow. When I start to feel down I just imagine being in a sea kripaa/kripa. My hope for you today is that you look for that rainbow. Look for that universal thing that is bigger than you and let your universal guide you through your day and hopefully you can experience being held by it or by sinking in an ocean full of kripaa/kripa.

Namaste and God Bless.

O and thank you Joe Taft for opening my heart center.

 

o-IYENGAR-570

 

 

sources:

Merriam-Webster

spoken sanskrit

http://www.isca-apologetics.org/sites/default/files/papers/Jared%20Martinez/Corduan-WordsForGraceInHinduism.pdf,

Light On Yoga

the Holy Bible

The Skinny on Being the Skinny Bitch

Term of the Day: skinny bitch.

There are not many words or phrases I dislike but this is up there on my list. For more reasons that just because it contains the word bitch. The main reason is that it is a derogatory term aimed to hurt skinny girls. Society and media has depicted the image of all skinny women being desirable and YET they are skinny bitches. Skinny=bitch. Skinny=desirable. Skinny=privilege.  People who aren’t skinny (which I actually don’t care to much for that word either, I prefer slender, or we could get scientific and say ectomorph), are told to hate or “thin shame” their counterparts instead of lifting them up. This same conception and perception also encourages us to believe that because one is slender, then they DO NOT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THEIR BODY IMAGE. They have it all together.  Slender, thin, ectomorphs, can have body image issues. This is coming from a small person who has an ED, I am also very fit, which leads people to downplay my issues or think that I would never have an ED because I am what society sees as desirable, BUT, yet there are images out there saying I am not desirable because I have no meat, curves, or anything for my husband to hold. I may not keep him warm, but I am a person and take up space so he does have something to hold. ***Now, I know the same falls on the other end of the spectrum, there is fat shaming, and it is horrible. But today I am focusing on the slender side***

I have written about this a few times and through my many years of working in the fitness and wellness field I have seen it all. I have seen “skinny” girls who are very unhealthy and I have seen larger women who are very healthy. At the end of  the day it all comes down to this: God made each and everyone of us. He made some of us petite, short, tall, large, slender, in between, frizzy hair, straight hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, red hair, etc….All we are asked to do is to take care of it/honor it. That means being healthy. Getting your own individualized balance of exercise and healthy eating.

This morning I woke up to the following article from Elephant Journal on my Facebook. I loved it. It is a well written entry from the perspective of the person who people would see as a “skinny bitch”. How it can be very difficult to be seen when you are smaller. How people automatically assume you have an ED or that you are uppity or that you just need to eat a burger. We are each individual and lovely. So for my slender girls, my “skinny bitches”, this is for you. And for those of you who aren’t, still read it….your words can hurt (I have been hurt by people saying backhanded compliments about my size and they don’t know my ED past).

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This One’s for My Skinny Sisters by Janne Robinso