yoga

Me and a black dog in Mexico

Way back in 2009 I went on a yoga retreat in Sayulita, Mexico with about twelve other people. One night after dinner I met this black dog as we were walking around the town plaza area. I spent every evening in the town plaza, where I had watched this dog constantly be attacked by other dogs, so when she came up to me on this evening I petted her and then gave her my leftovers. I was reminded of this when I encountered another black dog while on a walk yesterday.

Yoga teacher Judi Rice — who organized the trip — was influential in my life, is standing behind my left shoulder. She passed away in December, 2014.

Just For Now, a poem by Danna Faulds

Just for Now,
Without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.

Just for now, lay down the weight
You so patiently bear upon your shoulders.

Feel the earth receive you,
And the infinite expanse of the sky grow even wider,
as your awareness reaches up to meet it.

Just for now,
Allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.

Just for now,
Be boundless, free,
with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.

Drink in the possibility
Of being who and what you really are —
So fully alive that the world looks different,
Newly born and vibrant, just for now.

~ A poem by Danna Faulds that a friend shared on Facebook. I don’t know what book of hers it’s in, but it sounds like it might be in a book titled, Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga. It also sounds like things my yoga teacher used to say, and the title reminds me of my Back To Now app.

Yoga is about how the Will can free us ...

“True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness. Yoga is about how the Will can free us from the wavering mind and outwardly directed senses. This is how asana serves us.”

~ B.K.S. Iyengar

The meaning of the word “dakini” (Sanskrit, Tibet)

In the ancient Sanskrit language, the word “dakini” can be interpreted as a female embodiment of enlightenment, an outstanding female practitioner in yoga and meditation.

In Tibet, the word for dakini is “khadroma,” and it literally means “female sky-traveler.”

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.”