yoga

Stuff that will make you wonder about the nature of reality

When I woke up this morning I was very refreshed and my brain was quiet, so I decided to meditate. Shortly after that the room got a little busy, and then a terrific Michael Jackson song started playing. As I watched what was going on in the room and listened to the musicians and the lyrics, I realized it was a song that doesn't exist here in awakeland. Stuff like that will make you wonder about the nature of reality.

On yoga, effort, and life

Working with yoga is often interesting. You stretch and twist and focus, trying to be very conscious and aware of your movements, and then one day in the middle of a twisting pose you see your left foot coming out from behind your right ear. At first that’s a real surprise, a shock. You think, “Well, that can’t be my foot over there”, and then you realize it is your foot, and with that comes a strong sense of accomplishment, and maybe a little smile.

Then you do the same pose in the opposition direction, but twist and stretch as you might, your right foot doesn’t come out from behind your left ear. You know you can’t push it any more, at least not while doing the pose properly, so you realize you have a little imbalance. You accept that you have some work to do, but it’s a good thing, so you push on.

I think life is like that too, or can be like that. If you enjoy the struggle, if it’s a worthy struggle — Castaneda’s “a path with heart” — the effort comes willingly, and with its own rewards.

Namaste

The misconception that yoga is about exercising the body

There was a time when I had the misconception that yoga is only about exercising the body. Then one day my wise teacher (who studied directly under Iyengar) told me, “If you aren’t paying attention to your actions, all you’re doing is stretching.”

The meaning of the Alanis Morissette song, Thank You (Thank U)

This is my interpretation of the meaning of the Alanis Morissette song, Thank You (also known as Thank U). I don’t claim any special knowledge about the song; this interpretation of the lyrics is just based on my understanding of Zen and Buddhism, and also my practicing of yoga, specifically Iyengar yoga. If you’ve read some of the personal entries on this website, you know a lot of what I know.

The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death

“The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Each movement must be an art ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

“Always stretch from the source, the core, the foundation of each asana. Keep your attention internal, not worrying about what others see, but what the Self sees. Each movement must be an art, an art in which the Self is the only spectator.”

B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey (with a few minor edits by me)

Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is ...

“Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for restraining the fluctuations of the consciousness.”

~ Patanjali (via Iyengar)