The Power of Practice

Whether you meditate, do yoga, run, climb, train or dance (or do any other activity that makes you feel good really), no matter how many times you fall off the wagon, you notice the difference. You become more irritable, cranky, and you just don’t feel all that good about yourself.

Having an activity that both engages body and mind, that makes you think or stop thinking, I think is very beneficial to our health and our well-being. I believe that by engaging in such actions, we are able to live more fully into the present moment. Taking climbing for example, for me, it totally puts me right there in the moment for if I don’t give all my attention to what it is I am doing, I’ll fall off! It’s as simple as that.

In practicing yoga and meditation, I find that I can bring this focus and calm to other parts of my life whether it is while climbing or at work, these practices not only make me more fit but they also enable me to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

A lot of the times, I think that many of us need just that: taking a step back. By doing so, by engaging in these types of activities, we allow our creativity, our focus and our conscious awareness to emerge. We come to understand the flow of life and see the beauty of it all. We realize that we were overwhelmed and preoccupied by events happening outside of us forgetting that the stability and peace we seek is inside of us.

And so, by taking this step back, by taking care of ourselves, we slow down time and we truly enjoy every moment. Jivan mukti ~ fully living here and now in a state of self-realization and liberation. I hope you find your own “practice” or way of taking time for yourself, reflecting on where you are now. Only by knowing where you stand can you move forward.

Namaste.

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Stilling the Mind and Body

Everyday, thoughts fill our mind in a chaotic back and forth, churning ideas and obsessions. We think of things we could have done better or differently. We ask ourselves why we said this while we could have said that. We live in the past or in anticipation of the future, missing out on the present. So just stop here for a moment and breathe. Just Be.

I am discovering the practice of Yin Yoga and the benefits it brings to both mind and body. As we settle into a posture, the chatter slows down, bringing our attention to our breath, bringing our gaze inward. Eventually, as the body becomes still the mind follows and allows us to experience great inner peace and calm.

As time passes, our mind is absorbed deeper into stillness, creating space in the body. With every breath we observe an increased space between each inhale and each exhale. The incessant thought process slowly coming to a halt, we now notice and experience our body in its surrounding to the rhythm of our heart beat.

The practice of Yin Yoga not only takes the stretch into our deeper connective tissues, it brings our awareness of Self, mind and body in sync, deeper into the multiple layers of thoughts. There, there is stillness. Here, there is peace. Om Shanti.

“I am”

I have been repeating these words randomly once or twice a day, for the last two weeks. Each time, I have been surprised and amazed at how much space it creates around me. “I am”… breathe, watch, listen, feel.

I read about this idea of saying “I am” as a way to raise self-awareness. So far, every time I have uttered these two simple words, it has had the effect of projecting me back into the present. I am suggesting that we are projected in the present, because we often tend to live in the past (our memories and grief) or in the future (our worries and expectations).

“Feeling the energy of a place can be incredibly intense… people are walking by, singing, speaking or listening, enjoying life as it unfolds. As the sound of an acoustic guitar fills the ambient air, whilst the soul is transported, it is vividly experiencing the present moment: conscious awareness.”  I wrote these thoughts at Bon Echo, an inspiring place to me.

True awareness is said to be of the present moment, the Now. It is not something we can seek or control, rather it is something that just happens and that you feel as it flows through your body. Becoming aware however, is a process by which we enable ourselves to become more and more present in the Now.

A glimpse of that awareness is empowering. A few seconds of conscious awareness at a time is sufficient to bring so much more happiness to our world. “I am”… becoming a witness to my life as it unfolds. Namaste.

Sun rays

In a crisp Spring morning breeze,

I travel to my destination.

As I glance out the window,

I gaze at the mature trees.

Everything else around forgotten,

Each leaf shown in perfect light.

As trees sway in the wind,

A few rays reach the lower branches.

Sitting calmly in the warmth of the sun,

I close my eyes soaking in every ounce of radiant energy.

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