Sunday, 10 June 2012

Om for the Weekend

What a wonderful weekend of yoga, R&R, catch-up and solitude! Some times we just need it, and the best thing to do is turn off the phone, log out of Facebook, get freakily quiet and go forth, where no one else can go with you - inward. 

It's so important to carve out a space in your life for whatever it is that helps bring you joy and sanity - whether it's digging up dandelions, working out, learning French, hosting a four-day LAN party (Geeky computer nerd sleepover) or walking, talking and breathing everything yoga!  

I, for one, need my mat time, a book on the go, and new, juicy ideas and points-of-view to feed my mind and nourish my soul - otherwise I get bored and blind in my Third Eye; sometimes though, I simply need a reminder of what's already working in my life, if only I'd practice, practice, practice!

This weekend I took yoga workshops with the gentle, joyful lion Ryan Leier of One Yoga in Saskatoon at Noorish, and Yogi Vishvketu from Toronto and Rishikesh, India at Prana Yoga Studio. 

There was lots of sweat, laughter, Sanskrit and tapas - not the light snacks or appetizers typically eaten with drinks before dinner-hour in Spain (although we definitely built up an appetite!) but the burning zeal, devotion, and free and joyful undertaking of work in order to strengthen, soften, clear, purify and focus mind, body and heart.

Quite surreptitiously, both workshops highlighted the Five Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Ether. Once again, I was in awe of the power of breath to transform asana practice from a dance of Earthly desire and determination into an all-enveloping serenade to life, itself - divine mystery, wholeness, intuitive process, inner light and broken-open connection.

This weekend's mat work reinforced my understanding that solid, safe alignment is vital, but feeling and being and breathing are just as important as doing; all together they launch you into a space of deeper and deeper dimensions; and that's where the real yoga happens.

I wrote a poem while on break this afternoon. Here it is:

Rain streams steadily down window panes.
Apply effort without strain, 

For the work is never-ending.

Drink as if your life depended on it. It does.

Drink, like a thirty desert seeker arriving, at last, by forest's edge, where a bursting river runs and sings.

Drink to your heart's content, but not so greedily, needily, as to drowned the very song that moves you.

Stand. Soften the Earth-bound assertion (and exertion) of muscles that persists, in earnest, that "I exist."

Surrender the ego, let go, open to sweet ether - space - "the breath inside the breath," where the existential void implodes, communes with its' shadow of a self, then breaks through the walls of its own deluded imaginings, to rejoin with formless flow. 
Let go. 

Inhale light, burn bright, exhale the debris of days and diets, fears and floundering. Feel into a new place. Connect and clarify. Close your two eyes to see with a third. 

Look into your heart and listen to the landscape; the echoes and rumblings, whispers, slumbering unspokens and sweet silences. Pause, ready yourself, wait for the doors to open. You have arrived at Central Park for the seeker's soul. Now.

Awaken to the single staccato drop of water, falling from window's ledge, from amid the flow, where One becomes All. That drop is everything.

An idea becomes creation itself. A tear turns to a river that flows back into the ocean of always-has-been and forevermore. A web of wrinkles around laughing eyes on a time-worn face, merges into the great beyond of an ear-to-ear toothless smile.

Here, you forget the fight. Here, you look out beyond the fields of your brave warrior heart, and suddenly remember. Here, you were, always, Peace.

Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

Oh, and this is a total side-note, but if you're looking for a great summer read, I just dug into the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and I can't put it down! 

Who knew the man behind the personal computer was a barefoot hippie fruitarian, who was as fervent in his spiritual seeking as in his technological feats of genius?! Must read - for computer nerds and Normals alike:)

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