Yoga practice helps us experience glimpses of our potential. Connecting with ourselves in class is only a first step. Mindfulness happens when yoga techniques transform our everyday lives into an evolving, extraordinary experience, of practical physical functionality, and inner peace.
Yoga points out that no-one person or group of people, no personal status or possession, no compliment or achievement, no religion, work, drug or pill can give any one person a lasting or sustainable experience of yoga without one doing it oneself. And none of the aformentioned can let you feel the awesomeness that we naturally embody when not caught up in storms of emotions and intellectuality, or lost in the quagmire of the thinking mind personality. In other words, yoga and mindfulness lets us experience something quite priceless. Something we can only experience directly, through our own practice. Yoga suggests that though we can, and should, think and talk about it, yet we have to actually practice it to feel it and bring into the reality, make it real, else it we’re only “thinking and talking” about it!
So in order to experience any degree of the bliss of a body-mind attuned to itself, and the world around it, and connected to the life force of all that is, we have to get down to the basics and “just do it”. And yoga encourages us to “just do it”, to go for it, because we can – anyone with a willingness to try it can do some yoga. Any level of ability will let you feel looser and lighter, and more awesome. So you don’t have to be awesome at yoga to feel awesome from it.
Where do we start? We begin with every yoga session. And every day, every moment, every year of our lives. For me the “yoga quest” or striving for greater mindfulness is encapsulated in the Chinese proverb (old, wise China of ancients) of “Every 1 000 mile journey begins with the first step”.
I’d add that, for the journey to be a mindful one, one would have to be aware of every step along the way. As such mindfulness will naturally come and go, we return time and again to the mat, to evolve greater mindfulness.
I wish everyone on the path, good luck with the journey. I know only too well how challenging it can be!
13 June 2014.
Audio for a 4 minute Mindfulness meditation:
Read Part 1