In our busy lives we can easily feel that our daily responsibilities and activities take over, leaving us with little connection to our own selves and generally feeling that we don’t stop. The gas pedal is always on. We are inundated with “new” information and our minds are constantly fed. We also feed the body by running to the gym, running on the streets, running to the next class… do you see my point? We never stop to explore what happens when we don’t do anything!
So what if there is a way where you can step out of all of this? And what if with time it becomes your new normal?
Good news! There is a way :-)
We all crave a moment - an extended moment - of just stopping, breathing and letting out a big sigh of relief. We live in a mind based society where thought is valued above all else.
From years of exploring yoga and spirituality, I have finally learned a way to inner peace. Don’t assume that this means that I never feel distress or pain, it just means that I no longer identify with it - the inner peace prevails and the external events are just a haze, sometimes dense sometimes translucent.
What brings us peace? As human beings we seek connection. Separation breeds anxiety and mental health conditions. We seek unconditional love. And with that feeling of connection and love there comes a deep joy and then we feel safe and can let go and experience the peace.
Prana or life force
“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a conscious and intelligent non-visible living energy force. This energy force is the matrix mind of all matter.” – Max Planck, developer of Quantum Theory
We find the concept of a vital energy force in Yoga, ancient Hindu philosophy, in Chinese medicine “Qi”, Aura and even in quantum physics where everything is linked to a conscious observer.
The breath passing through our bodies is life force or Prana in Sanskrit. Wherever this energy flows, there is life. The prana is not confined to our three dimensional reality, it can flow between energetic realms making it a powerful connector. When our breathing is shallow and erratic so are our thoughts. When the breathing is slow and regular we can activate our parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest mode). Through pranayama or breath work we can bring our beings into a relaxed state, beginning to arrive fully in our bodies in the here and now.
The energetic body
Every person’s body is an energetic system. The physical body is only a part of this and it is surrounded by what we call an aura. Note that aura in Greek means breath or air which implies that prana or life force is what we are all made of, extending beyond our physical body. Using the breath we can enter these layers and we begin to feel their energy around our physical body.
Heart centred meditation
This is the crucial step: we are aware of our thoughts, our mind… we are aware of our physical bodies… and we are aware of our breath… so what are we? If you asked me to explain what is meditation I would say this: “meditation is an experience in which we discover we are something other… not the mind, not the body, not our character nor are we separate.”
Our three dimensional world is a mind based one ruled by duality. This means everything the mind can conceive of it will compare. This creates separation as the mind sees you or me, good or bad, light or dark.
Meditation in itself is a way to transcend that which separates. It is a way to discover what we truly are.
If mind separates, what creates unity? What creates me and you, good and bad, light and dark?
The spiritual Heart: Heart centred meditation accesses the Spiritual Heart Centre which every living being carries within them: it is the place where the divine spark sits... and the gateway to our true nature!
When we connect with the Spiritual Heart we experience love, peace, oneness. A place where we are all connected with existence itself. With god. We experience a steady state of being - infinite consciousness.
I will facilitate this experience. Everyone gets there eventually. And everyone says the same thing afterwards… they feel peace. The rest I won’t spoil for you, you’ll have to find out for yourself! ;-)
Yoga asana practise is a magical tool. Not only do the postures optimise our endocrine system, stimulate our organs, create inner muscular strength and increase flexibility, they also "OPEN UP OUR BEING". Literally, the act of opening up our joints begins to release stored trauma, emotions and generally things we tend to hold on to. The process of letting go makes us lighter and more joyful as we carry less weight.
The feeling of a strong, healthy body also aids us endlessly as we are able to do daily things with ease and generally our posture, the way we hold ourselves changes. The chest begins to open up, allowing the Heart to breathe and expand. We feel like we can face the world with more ease. For meditation practise it is very important to have a strong body which can sit in stillness for a long period of time.
Yoga postures are practised in a certain order to stimulate and optimise the energy flowing in our bodies. The most interesting and beneficial postures for you are the ones you have an aversion to doing, the ones you struggle with most. Taking some time to explore exactly what it is that is stopping us from going into a posture shows us where there might be a muscular weakness or over strength which might indicate a chakral energy imbalance. Breaking asanas down into small bits and working on them can also help us discover aspects of ourselves and what we tend to avoid in life.
Yoga is not only practised on the mat. What we do on the mat is a direct reflection of what we do in our daily lives. A true practitioner will be doing yoga in their day to day actions. And what we learn off the mat can directly influence what we do on the mat and vice versa.
For a range of my class packs have a look here!