The Practice

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Whie in the middle of Marichysana D, “What to eat after practice? A mouth-watering vegetarian adobo, raddish cake, my favorite gingery mongo soup? What for dessert? Cappuccino gelato, moist choco cake,strawberry coco ice cream? Need to finish that report, revert to office emails, prepare for a meeting, etc.

The list goes on …

Sometimes I would catch my mind going ahead of the pose or counting how many poses left before Savasana. At other times I hear my mind creating all excuses on why not to do the pose or why I need to do a pose.

The MIND. It’s quite an animal to catch…. with all its distractions and dramas, I’ve always wondered how do we still its raving waters?

In the past days of daily yoga practice, I realized that the authenticity of our intent set at the beginning of the practice helps us go beyond the struggles of the mind. Fully connecting to the breath and trusting our grounding opens us up to the flow of the practice.

With the intention of opening the heart and with full awareness on breath and bodily movements, the dance of breath is being invited and the practice just arises as long as Intention and Focus are there.

Regardless of the pose, of the perceived limited practice time, of perceived body limitations, of our seeming self-criticizing judgments, of whatever excuses we have in mind, allowing the mind to step aside opens the heart to the flow.

Fully connecting to our feet, feeling every muscle and sensations we can muster, acknowledging our bodies as part of the earth, it becomes our grounding.

Feeling our chest open and crown of the head connecting to the Great One above, it becomes our guide (As we are reminded that something is bigger/greater than us).

Then things just start to flow.

I cannot further emphasize the importance of continuously not pausing the breath and flow of movement. The tool seems to work for me to silence the monkey mind… Move without overthinking so the mind cannot catch up. I guess this is what I love about the practice. It is a life tool just as with the other practices (e.g. qui gong, jet kundo, other martial arts) it silences the mind so the self can arise.

Do the poses without the drama. Doing too much (giving in to the ego) or doing too little (a form of escape, running away from one’s self and issues) does not help. Wherever we are in the practice for the day, remove the dramas and self-judgment. As one of my teachers would say, “Just do it BUT with full awareness.”

Move and Flow with the heart open and the feet grounded acknowledging…

… the power of the earth

… the existence of things greater than us – God, the ONE divine, the Great Spirit , Christ, Allah

… and most of all the strength we have in ourselves

And hopefully before we know it, the seed of the real practice is growing inside us, carrying it with us even off the mat.

 

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