Translation: Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind.
Our mind, and all its components, the conscious, sub-conscious, and unconscious, move like waves in a storm. Yoga is the calm eye of that storm, where the stillness pervades and all is quietly wading in the peaceful waters.
I wrote last week about sutra number one, and how profound this sutra is. You can read here, As a quick, reflection, we now know that yoga is a spiritual path to lead you to enlightenment. When you are fully present, you are engaged in yoga. The divine is you, and you the divine. So, if this is already the case, why do we bother with yoga, or spirituality, or practice at all? We are always connected to divine source, we are spiritual in nature, and enlightenment is within us, so let’s just quit this seeking then right?
Well… It is also true, that we don’t always feel divine. I can admit, I myself, sometimes feel like a mess. A beautiful, & powerful mess.
Do you ever feel that way? This might be why Sage Patanjali so kindly continued his description of yoga, and didn’t leave us with… You are always already doing the Yoga.
We are so caught up with our mind stuff, our emotions, our stories, & our everyday shit, that we need practice to condition ourselves to presence. Divinity, Enlightenment, & connection are all states that exist in the present, but often we are worrying about the future, or remember our past. Yoga is the calming of these seemingly never ending waves of thought.
Through a daily yoga practice, we experience deeper presence. Yoga postures may have brought you this sense of presence. It is often a calm & peaceful feeling to be guided and focused on our bodies and the sensations we are experiencing as we dance between stillness and movement.
Today I would like to offer you 3 practices to experience off your mat to help calm the fluctuations of the mind.
3 ways to find presence in the now.
1. Sit and watch your thoughts.
It seems counter intuitive that if yoga is ceasing the fluctuations of thoughts, that you would spend time and attention on your thoughts. But this is the beginning stages. For some of us, when we first start to meditate, it is unbelievable to even be aware of how fast our minds are processing information. It’s almost something to be proud of in this society. I have not mastered meditation, in a traditional sense. I have not ceased my thoughts completely, but that is not the point of this exercise and that’s not where I’m at, (& PS that’s ok). Everyday, I sit, and I watch my thoughts without judgement and I try not to hold on. I return to my breath, because I am for sure always breathing.
Would you like to get started? I created a beginners guide to meditation:
2. Vocal toning
Did you know everything in our reality is vibrating? Everything at its most subtle form is a sound. When I am sounding, also known as toning, I am very present, and afterwards I notice less thoughts and an overall feeling of calmness. Toning is also known to have a balancing effect on your chakras, the energetic system of Yoga which link your physical body to your etheric, energetic body. Watch the video here to tone with me to the heart chakra to see how you feel.
3. Stare at a flower
I learned this technique from Ekhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, and famous spiritual speaker. Being in nature in general has a calming effect on the body, and psyche. And even more profound, gazing into the spiritual eye of a flower, can bring a sense of presence. Without attachment, or judgement of the flower simply look and acknowledge how present the flower is. Flowers have the capacity to remind us of our own presence and beauty. Do this practice for at least 3 minutes allowing the fullness of the moment. Slow down, simply be present and allow the divine to reside In the moment.
There are many ways to bring presence into your life, I’d like to hear from you. Comment with a practice that you’ve noticed allows your mind to rest in the now.
If you would like to be guided towards presence, divinity, and heart centered living, join me on my 5 night 6 day retreat on a sanctuary in Lake Atitlan, San Marcos, Guatemala. Through yoga asana, sacred sound, & ceremony we will dance with the divine in each one of us, dive into matters of the heart, and relax into the creative flow of life.