IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

"God is in the Roses...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

...the petals and the thorns.

Storms out on the oceans; 

souls who will be born.  

And every drop of rain that falls, 

falls for those who mourn. 

God is in the roses and the thorns."


I heard this Roseanna Cash song for the first time about a year ago as I was driving to our Yoga Teacher Training program at Indigo on a Sunday morning.  I was listening to NPR and hadn't been paying much attention as my mind was busy and my heart was heavy...I don't remember what internal battle I was fighting on that particular day.  I have battled chronic depression my entire life...and while I have overcome so much of this disease there are days & moments when the weight of the world and the suffering of humanity (especially of my own loved ones) swallow me up whole.


But when this simple yet powerful song started to play,

I was instantly hushed -- suddenly I was fully present...alive...aware...surrendered...accepting...at peace in the moment.  Tears of release streamed down my face and as I took deep breaths in and out I found myself absorbing the essence of God and letting go of the hurt.  

It was a moment that made a lasting impression.  It didn't erase my struggles.  It reminded me that my struggles are part of the process.  God is with me in the easy moments and in the difficult moments.  When I remember to let go of my firm grasp on those thorns my pain is so much less severe.  A rose can rest in my palm...thorns and all and when I just give it space (not casting it aside nor grasping firmly...just allowing it to BE) I can become aware of the complete beauty of God.  


Awareness.  Discernment.  Surrender.  There's that Kriya Yoga theme popping up in my life again.  Hmm...


**Just a sidenote to clarify my points of view:  when I refer to God, I do not see a separate God between cultures.  I do not believe there is MY God & then there is YOUR God, and I don't even really assign or assume gender here, as I believe God is bigger than those human labels & understandings.

Whatever way in which you personally connect with this Divine Creative Source, I believe it is the same energy for all of us.  Part of our human experience is finding our own personal connection with God (or the Gods, or the Goddess...or the Sun, or the Universe) ...these are all aspects of that one Infinite Source, in my humble opinion.   





Practice, and Surrender?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

We talk a lot about "surrender" in yoga.  Next time you're in class count how many times one of us instructs you to "let go."  (Just don't tell any of my instructors that I said so...ok?)
Does it ever feel more like the picture above (from a scene in the classic, "The Wizard of Oz") than the picture below when you really TRY to let go of something?  We're supposed to feel serenity...like being on the white sands near the ocean without any heavy thoughts holding us down.  Yet, living in our modern world with everyday demands and stressors can leave us feeling more like we should run and hide.  

I know.  I have those moments and those days too. 

But, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali give some direction in the principles of Kriya Yoga:

"Within this practice we orient our attitudes toward the discernment (swadhyaya) to distinguish the things we can change (tapah) from the things we cannot change (isvara pranidhana.)"  -excerpt from the Introduction of "Yoga Anatomy, 2nd Edition," written by Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews.

Sounds a lot like The Serenity Prayer, doesn't it?  
That's something most of us are more familiar with, which makes it easier to relate to.  
The short version goes something like, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."  In essence, we are to give it to God...that which we cannot change or control we can release ourselves from by simply giving it to the Universe (Creative Source, the Divine...however you relate to that energy, no matter what you call it...it's all the same.)

Still, the white beaches WOULD be nice...but January here in the Midwest can serve as a backdrop to my inner bliss.  It just takes practice.  (lots, and lots, and lots and LOTS of daily practice)
Hmm...now where is my broomstick? 

Observing what "is"

Thursday, January 03, 2013
...is what Yoga "is."  Well, that doesn't fully sum it all up...or does it?

I was listening to a Richard Freeman (pictured above) talk today as I headed to our hot yoga studio to do my practice.  Today I didn't attend a guided class, but I was practicing in the same room as my husband.  I wasn't practicing with him, but there have been days in the past when I have been very tempted to do his yoga practice.  He is an advanced practitioner, so it can be tough at times to let go of my grasping to do what he does (check out our photo gallery to see for yourself!)

Today was different.  While I've listened to this particular 'Studio Talk' by Richard countless times before, there was a line that struck me as I pulled into the lot.  While I'm not quoting verbatim, he said that the practice of yoga is essentially the "observation of what is."  Now, I should also mention that I fell and hurt my arm last week, and so I was nervous to launch into a gazillion sun salutations (specifically Upward Facing Dog (known in Sanskrit as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.)  

Richards words shifted something, making my practice slow and skillful today.  I spent a lot of time patiently observing the sensations in my wrist, forearms, and I was surprised to discover pain deep in my shoulder joint & beneath the scapula on the right side.  I moved through a sequence of postures that opened the shoulder and provided a deep, therapeutic stretch & release.  Updog wasn't comfortable, so I didn't push through them (as I am sometimes wont to do.)  As I moved in and out of each posture I found myself practicing keen awareness and the attachment to having a vigorous practice melted away.

The discomfort is still there, but there was a great release and relief from the practice of observation of what "is" along with the acceptance of what "is."  And, I'm happy to report I didn't notice my husbands practice at all today (well, almost...he IS pretty awesome to 'observe!')

Namaste,
IndigoGrrl   



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