Regaining Our Trust and Peace
Since the events of 9/11, I turn to yoga practice even more than before. The poses (physical) soothe the body’s aches, the breathing calms the stress; the silence soothes my spirit. I am so grateful to Dona Holleman, world-known teacher from Italy, who taught us in August, right before the crisis. She taught yoga as it relates to the quality of life.
That is unique to each one of us. What does it mean to create quality of life? For me, especially in times of stress, I find “quality” when I direct my practice more inward: Which poses provide release from muscle tightness? Which ones give me strength? Which ones create energy? Does the practice provide clarity and renewed optimism? Most important ... does my yoga heal the heart as well as the body?
This approach, I think, is what Dona encouraged when she says yoga is about “being in your own driver’s seat.” We each bring to the table the tools needed for the quality and tone of that practice. Then it resonates into daily life. Then it gives us joy ... a pleasure as well as a discipline.
Too simple to stop and be still, some may think. Yet, to sit daily in silence and meditate clears the mind and helps us regain our peace and vision. Someone reports this month they are “aligned spiritually.” Yet her irritations and discontent are evident. “Do you become quiet for ten minutes a day?” I asked. No, she admits. No time to get still. Better yet, no choice yet made to become still.
For me, when challenged physically or mentally, I become objective and see it for what it is. I notice how harboring pain or holding onto the past continues the negative pattern. Yoga shows me that each day is new, but to embrace the new I must be willing to receive it.
When I feel with my heart and mind and body, my yoga poses do not become mechanical but rooted in the organics at the heart of each cell. You feel the energy.
The energy of the heart, however fleeting, brings healing that is quite palpable. I’m reminded again of the nature of love. Love asks only that we love. It’s when I find my “quality of choice” to move with freedom to give, to serve, to forgive, and consciously trust the courage of future dreams.