Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The name's hero, super hero

I saw this cute picture last week of two window cleaners, halfway up the side of a children's hospital, cleaning the windows. It was so sweet to imagine the gaping children inside. You know that it's all some of them will talk about for the rest of the day and it will be a magical memory they'll hold forever in their hearts.

What's so beautiful is that those guys were only doing their job. Yet, that day, or maybe they do it all the time, I don't know, they took the ordinary and turned it into the extraordinary. They created magic just for those kids, just because they can.

We hold these limited views of ourselves, that we are not enough. The more yoga we do, the more we set aside those ideas and just allow our light to shine with ever more power. Because it's true, we are all heroes and not, David Bowie, just for one day. We all have it within us to change someone's day with the way we interact in the world.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Me and my mat

My husband just asked why I insist on keeping such a clapped out old yoga mat. I guess it’s because we’ve been through a lot together.

We only got together by mistake because I left my other one somewhere on a train between Brighton and Lewes. I hope someone picked it up and loves it just as much as I did.

We’ve been together in Cornwall, Chalk Farm, Copenhagen and even on honeymoon in Crete. Aswell all those other places which don’t begin with C. Most of the time though, you’re happy to hang out in the spare room waiting for the next practice.

You have two foot prints from a thousand Addho Mukka Svanasana, Plankasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Urdva Mukka Svanasana and back to Addho Mukka Svanasanas. And a few black marks from writing class plans in flow.

You’ve supported me in Addho Mukka Vrksasana Pincha Mayurasana, Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, especially in my less than elegant dismounts. Not to mention a hundred luxurious Vipariti Karanis.

We’ve spent all of our training hours together. Including when we almost split up because you wouldn’t let me hide under you and escape my final teaching exam.

You’ve been rolled out, rolled up and flung in a corner countless times. Yeah, I think we’re going to stick together a bit longer yet. You know too much.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sewing the seeds

As we enter what I affectionately refer to as “vata season” I find the need to tune in and really listen to what my body is telling me, as opposed to what I would do BYE (Before Yoga Era): become erratic, run around and not focus on anything in particular.

If you’re not familiar with Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science here’s a quick run down. Ayurveda treats the whole person as an individual, we are said to be made of three parts to create our unique constitution: pitta (fire), vata (air), kapha (earth). We are born, live and die with this constitution so the more we understand about it and our propensities within it the more we can live balanced and harmonious (sattvic) existence. If we choose to, free will is a whole other discussion.

The point being, that while we made up of these essences, so we see it revealed in the nature we find around us. Autumn and spring are particularly vata times, there’s a lot of change happen, quite literally (eh-hem) a lot of wind flying around. And since I'm particularly vata, I feel this season particularly. We can feel scattered and thrown to the four corners. The beauty of aryuveda is that one doesn’t treat this as such, it merely provides us with a whole range of tools which we can use to bring more balance.

So for me that means, porridge and stews. It means warm drinks. It means a grounded, slow practice. It means time on the sofa under a duvet enjoying my favourite books and giving myself space for contemplation. Because as autumn is a time to slow down it is also the time we plant the seeds we wish to gestage and then grown in the spring. So it’s the time to turn inside and give space for your creativity to be sewn.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Peek a boo

This week, as I’ve continued my delve into the Bhagavad Gita <small plug for my other blog> the idea of concealment and revelation has been, well, if you’ll pardon the pun, re-revealed to me. I’m assuming a general understanding of the story of The Gita, if not, stop reading this blog and instantly go and get a copy now. I have Easwaran, however, I’ve also heard good things about Stephen Mitchell’s translation. The books I'm using to support my study are Ram Dass' Paths to God (a truly transformative read) and Dr. Douglas Brooks' Poised for Grace.

One of my favourite scenes is when Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna in his entirety. It’s one of the moments which draws me back time and again to The Gita and I’m amazed every time I see it repeated throughout every culture’s literature. My first, aha on that was when Macbeth sees Banquo’s heirs down the ages revealed to him by the three witches in Macbeth. That one truly stopped me in my tracks and made my mouth hang open! It’s like we’ve been given little sign posts along the way just to gently just our conscious mind into remembering. Today I had a hit when my IPhone shuffled its way to David Bowie, how could I forget how great that music is?

The point is this. Forgetting is in no way a problem because forgetting is an entryway into remembering what we already know. It’s the moment when your brain grasps onto something and starts wheezing because it’s desperately trying to recall something, that’s the moment of revelation. That’s the moment of friction between concealment and revelation. That’s the edge we get to play.