Dear Sweet Community,
I am really attached to my dreams. I am. And some of them have indeed manifested, others are still in the works. The more I allow myself to hope for these things, the more I notice my attachment to them happening. I don't think hoping and wanting are a negative thing. I think it is, to some degree, a demonstration of trusting life a bit. But when we start clinging to something, we suffer and our happiness becomes contingent upon it. As a somatic therapist I notice the somatic expression of clinging in me. It is a clenching in my jaw and a tightening of my whole body. As if my body is wrapping itself around this something that i am trying to so hard to have.
It doesn't feel good. This causes me suffering. So I try to work my way backwards. When did I stop dreaming and start clinging? Dreaming is a part of being imaginative, this is an expansive state. Clinging is very narrow, it is the attachment to expectation; as in happiness can only come with a specific outcome.
Well geez, being a yogini is hard then! Because I have to keep sitting with my attachment to what I imagine is possible in my life. This is true because I am human and it is human nature to want safety and assurance.
Lately I have been practicing allowing my reactions and emotions to freely arise as I practice yoga. This is a cleansing of sorts of all that lies in my humanity. At the end of my practice, I meditate when all of that rebellion is out and I watch the calm that comes with letting go.
See if this might be a possibility for you on your mat. It is an effective approach to practicing non-attachment.
Alignment Tip of The Week:
The past two Fridays we focused on the jump through and jump back and the joints.
The joints are a very important part of the body. They are like energetic stations in the body. Energy passes through the joints as part of the energetic flow. Energy is carried in winds, or Vayu's, through out the body. If prana can't pass through the joints it gets stuck. On an anatomical level, the joints are very important. The joints allow us an incredible amount of flexibility. Our bodies are an amazing machine, there is tremendous intelligence in them. However, like a machine, they need to be maintained. Like a nice car, the joints need to be oiled. Synovial fluid is the oil to our joints, if we don't move the joints around then our body produces less synovial fluid. So motion is lotion when it comes to the joints. Also, the joints are inherently very unstable. They really are bones and soft tissue that float around each other with some padding in between. What stabilizes them is connective tissue that is strong and doesn't entirely yield. If this tissue stretches out too much it will make the joints stable and cause problems for the other joints in the same line, contrary, if they are too strong they will limit our mobility in that joint and again affect the other joints in the same line.
Therefore, make sure you move the joints around, twirl your wrists, ankles, make circles in your hips and shoulders and knees. Stretch your feet in child's pose, knees in her pose, hips in pigeon, shoulders in downward facing dog but also do your chair pose to strengthen the knees, one leg balancing to strengthen the ankle and plank and chattarunga for the shoulders. Care for your joints and they will care for you ;)
The age old jump through and jump back demystified: The word Vinyasa means a moving meditation. When we breath we are doing vinyasa. This is because our breath carries our Prana (life force) in certain directions. The vayus are the directionals of Prana. When we breath in our energy goes up (Uddana Vayu) and out (Vyana Vayu). We feel this by the ribcage lifting and spreading wide, collar bones widen, and our limbs elongate. We also feel our pelvic floor gather up lifting our seat. When we breath out we are going down (Apana Vayu) and in (Samana Vayu). We feel our feet on the earth, the ribcage coming into the center, the front of the ribs drawing down and towards our back, and our abdominals engaging. When we are doing the traditional Ashtanga transition vinyasa we jump the feet to the hands and jump back to plank. We also jump the legs through to seated and back to chatarunga. In order to do this we need to use vinyasa of the breath.
Try doing the jump through and jump back with a set of blocks. Bring the blocks by your hips and your hands resting on the block. Cross your ankles and lift your seat into Tolasana. Think IN and UP with your breath; point your chin forward as you lift your seat off of the ground. Then pointyour chin down causing your body to tuck and rock forward. Either set your shins on the ground and step back to plank and then down dog or keeping the shins off of the ground shoot your legs back to plank. In down dog walk your feet forward and inch or two, stay high in your hips as you come on to your toes and jump your legs through to Tolasana again and then sit on the ground. Remember this takes practice so bring an open mind and playfulness to it!!
See you on the mat