That Present Feeling…
What makes yoga practice, yoga practice?It is the consistency of streaming your awareness to a simple aspect of your existence. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that it is simple. What is streaming awareness? Take a deep breath in and just experience it, let all else fade away. Feel the space you change in your lungs, the movements through your body, and the immediate changes in your physiology. That’s it. Now, breath out slowly and feel the relaxation and release, the quiet mind. It’s a continuous flowing experience, and most importantly, your perspective becomes centered and calm. This is why people practice Yoga, to touch in with the spiritual home. But it doesn’t have to be breathing. That just happens to be a really easy way. It’s just about streaming awareness.
The breath is this simple and profound magic door to understand this kind of awareness. You can enter this state without any particular technique but most people find they need time with the techniques first to tune in with it. The breath works so well. However, if your mind is agitated the stream might slip and skip around into different experiences. So what do we do? Well…I think I know what you first thought was Yoga, and indeed it is.
Making an Exercise a Yoga Practice
It’s such a genius idea really. If you move consciously your awareness gets “anchored” in the body and keeping that stream becomes easy. You’re breath and you’re body are so close, intertwined, so do it while breathing consciously to feel their relationship and get tuned in spiritually.This is how you let your mind rest and drop off the unnecessary clutter.
Those that bash on teachers that make yoga classes like a fitness regime or ego show, and all the other problems that cropped up with the globalization and subsequent modernization of Yoga should really start being pro-active entities that make sure everyone who attends yoga classes like ones in the picture above or teaches yoga remember the following ideas!
1. The practice is streaming awareness. The most simple way to do this is continuously observe the sensations of your breath and body. If you’re having thoughts or internal chatter and judgements you’re not practicing!
2. If you’re a teacher, don’t over complicate things! You can lead people into lots of interesting experiences beyond breath and body but remember…it’s streaming awareness, contiguous. Link from the breath to where you want to take them or even use metaphors that describe the body in different ways for a fresh experience, like a new rivulet entering the growing stream. Keep everything connected.
3. Once you get familiar with the feeling of streaming awareness you’ll be able to notice and sustain it easily. Again, conscious breathing is always an easy way back to it but even more simply, find yourself being the observer of your life, not the actor. Then you are always just watching the show. 🙂