People in child's pose

Remembering Again

People in child's poseAfter a couple years of home practice, I recently returned to a yoga studio. There are so many advantages to practicing in community, one of which is the little nuggets of truth the yogi offers during class to meditate on. It’s part of what makes yoga feel holistic and replenishing. Some truths seem to come from the world, outside of me, but yoga truths seem to rise up from within; things I have always known but strayed from, or truths dormant but now awakening, dusting themselves off, and taking up residence as I remember them or remember them again.

  1. What you are looking for is looking for you.
  2. The average attention span of a human is 8 seconds, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. It is not about stopping your mind from wandering, but noticing your mind wandering soon after it starts to wander. The mind is prone to wander. Every conscious breath is a new opportunity to try again.
  3. Silence and stillness should not feel threatening, but rather feel like coming home, back to the body, back to the self.
  4. Your body is stronger than your mind thinks it is.
  5. Your breath is like a shovel. Allow it to be a tool for you to create more space.
  6. “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” –Albert Einstein
  7. You’re a mess right now, but don’t you remember? The body is like a shell. It cracks, but the cracks are what let the light in.
  8. What you give attention to grows.
  9. You know you are on the right path when you become both more relaxed and more awake.
  10. You can change the entire structure of your life, but you must do it one breath at a time.
  11. Energy seeps out of your eyes and your mouth. Close your eyes. Close your mouth. Breathe big circular breaths through your nose. Don’t scatter your energy. Gather it.
  12. Heat, like a forest fire, provides the destruction necessary for the possibility of new life to grow.

And then there was this moment when my body was in a shape that my baby likes to make with his body. I pictured him, and saw myself leaning over him, showering him with affectionate words, caresses, kisses and coos. In this baby shape, I was filled with an urge to be loved like that myself. I wanted someone to give me the unrestrained, joyful, playful, abundant love I show my children. For just a moment, I wanted to let my guard down and be a baby again. From the same place that the yoga truths reawaken came a love that washed over me like truth. It felt like a tender embrace. I nuzzled into it, allowing myself be held, rocked, and told that everything will be okay.