Monday Night Yoga

Every Monday night I go to a yoga class called Yin Yoga Meditation. When I return from the class, I feel that I am changed: I have a special sense of peace, ease and balance in my body. There are a few reasons why I think this class is special.

First of all, Yin-style yoga is different than most other yoga classes. It’s not a movement, “flow” or “Hatha” style of class; it is very quiet, with long pose-holds of about five minutes. Typically, the poses that are done are on the floor such as child’s pose, pigeon pose, forward folds, etc. The Shanti Yoga studio in Vancouver, WA describes yin as: “Taught as an embodied meditation practice, this class offers students a different kind of practice from the more active style of Hatha classes. Here the challenge arises from exploring longer seated holds of up to 5 minutes in the Yin style/Taoist Yoga tradition, deeply stretching and nourishing all connective tissue while steadying the mind through a variety of pranayama practices. Patience is acquired as we practice stilling the restless mind through passive holding, concentration, and meditation in a very quiet but gently challenging and deeply nourishing setting” (www.shantiforeveryone.com).

Another reason my class is special is because of what I learn every evening. What I walk away with changes the way I move through the world, and on this particular tonight, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be nice to share this with our community here, so that you, too can have something to consider about how you might want to be in the world.”

Every session, we take a yogic topic and concentrate on it intensely. One of my previous posts was inspired by one of my classes in which we discussed truth consciousness and bliss. What I am going to do is share with you these simple lessons that over the past seven years have really helped to shape me—probably more than anything else.

Each lesson will be brief, but hopefully thought-provoking. Some will resonate more than others. Don’t feel pressured to understand everything all at once. There are no wrong or right answers or questions. I will also try to give you a step you may want to take or consider during the week

This session, we are discussing aversion, attraction and attachment, or more precisely, awareness of not being attached.

Today, we’re just planting the seeds of considering the things to which we are attached. What are the things that hook us in and trigger us to judge and react? Can we consider that there might be another way?

When we find ourselves getting triggered and starting to judge, one way to release the trigger is to pause—in yoga it is called Shani. So, we pause, followed by conscious breath. When we are trapped in the “triggers”, we eventually become aware that we are not in our breath, so we pause and breathe.

Be gentle with yourself and please, do not judge yourself. Just continue the practice and return to your breath.

My dear friend and teacher Yvonne often uses poetry to help us consider our topic. Today’s poem was awesome and just right when considering attraction and aversion. It’s called ‘For a New Beginning’ by John O’Donohue.

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

This poem is powerful when we are trying to step out of our own comfort zone. When we are mired in our attachments, we feel safe, but are we really living fully? Step out onto new ground and see with fresh eyes.

Please let me know what you think about attachment and aversion. It’s a big topic and will be discussed for the next seven weeks. Also, let me know what you think of this poem: what does it say to you?

Future posts will be categorized under “Monday Night Yoga” and will not be this long, as today, I wanted to share with you my intention for these posts.

Namaste

Dianne

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