Did you get that? Can you make that shift in perspective?
Ethical yoga is a process aimed at changing the dominant culture of MIND. Awareness is cultured toward freedom. Freedom from a mindset that keeps us in the rat wheel of 'everything either being good or bad, right or wrong, something to be desired or something to fear.' A yoga practice is not meant to be a process of just tidying and renovating our personal prison cell (mindset). Yoga is meant to bust us out of the prison of self-doubt and delusion that binds us to unhappiness.
For yoga to function as a practice of liberation, our learning context trains us to examine our attitudes. Whilst we are working in postures we must learn to watch our mind for the judgements: the manifestation of desires and the leering mind of fear and shame.. (in yoga these judgements are studied as vrttis and kleshas) and they manifest in all of us.
When we can witness the characteristics of mind (fluctuations or vrttis), and shift the intention of practice to make these ‘fluctuations’ 'objects' rather than ornaments; at that point, our yoga practice changes us. The mental forces that bind us to unhappiness are weakened. Fears and desires, delusions and imaginations, are no longer dictators and back seat drivers in our lives. We stand in the power of our own presence and act from a place of inner wisdom. We create space for our Self.
When our mind set is toward the body as an ornament, we tend to engage with it in ways that glorify performance. Actions inherently serve no practical purpose. Whereas when we engage with the body as an instrument, we are concerned with the capacity of the instrument to harmonize within its context or circumstance. We understand that what is being expressed through the body is in fact the Self. Within nature, there is an eternal expression of wisdom. Our manifest nature; our body and small mind self, act as a playground where a yogi learns to relate to the eternal wisdom. We play with gravity, relational forces, anchors, extension, space. We develop concentration and accuracy of perception. Practice trains the mind in concentration and becomes the gateway to meditation.
Posture ‘adjustments’ in a yoga practice, are actually conversational clarifications.. the elements of heaviness, compression or spaciousness; of flow, or stagnation, are in conversation. The asana is a situation in which conversation must be had to harmonize the forces within the experience. A study of the koshas in a yoga practice requires that we learn asana, we study asana and we practice asana. This means the conversational process is valued – we are open to learning, feeling, being challenged to let go, to embrace, to hold when we want to drop, to surrender when we want to grasp; to experience support and space and to watch the choices we make and the results.. what washes up onto the shore of our lives – what choices, conscious, or in the depths are evident to us as we stand upon the shore of our own existence.
Anama Cara Studio our Qld Yoga Retreat center in Woodgate Beach Qld will open in June 2020. A retreat asks that we brave our innocence. “Innocence is, in a way, the ability to be found by the world. It’s not a state of naïveté. It’s the ability to be found by the world you’re now inhabiting. Part of what we find is, we’re just supposed to give ourselves away, actually." David Whyte
Life experiences are made into ornaments.. .. things that we glorify and hold on to.. things that we attach to for self esteem and identity. A teacher of yoga, teaches the practices of Abhyasa and Vairagya: Discipline and Renunciation. These practices develop clarity of perception. They teach us to put the ornaments on the shelf so that we may experience ourselves as Yoga.