“Focus your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, simply return your awareness to the inhalation and exhalation. You don’t need to empty your mind or have perfect attention. It is the act of noticing mental distractions and bringing the attention back to the breath that lends the mind steadiness (sthira) and ease (sukha).”
“Yield to the flow. It is the most intelligent, fulfilling thing to do. Surrender your best sense of what to do or not to do and trust in the flow of Being.” – E. Schiffmann
Your challenge this week is to take 5 minutes each day to go with the flow by practicing what speaks to you.
You can simply sit and breathe, do one or two yoga poses that are familiar to you, or, if it’s a “down day”, enjoy a relaxation pose like Savasana (corpse pose). The important thing is to go to your dedicated space and set your timer for 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes – no more.
If you are a teacher, try this in class. Allow a few minutes for self-practice prior to the start of class.
It feels as though everything is in a state of flux lately. For me, it started with the solar eclipse last month. I found that particular occasion to be the point when the proverbial line was drawn in the sand. Since then, I have had a perspective change in a precise direction, one which I hope will lead me to a positive transformation.
For thousands of people, the natural disasters that have occurred over the past few weeks have drastically changed their lives; in ways unfathomable for the rest of us. Loss and devastation to property and whole communities has many people turning away from the places they once called home.
Yoga teaches it is not what happens to us in life, but what we choose to do about it, that reveals our true nature. On the mat, we use our breath to confront any barriers so that we may flow with ease and comfort. Off the mat, the same is true. We must find coping measures to face our limitations and move onward with grace.
In these changing, and, for some, violent times, we can all persevere by connecting with our centers. Here we will find the heart to move through our challenges and the fortitude to proceed with our lives. Our centeredness will become the anchor that weathers the storms.
When complications arise, I turn to this simple quote by Lao-Tzu:
“Stay in the center of the circle and let all things take their course.”
Although we will still be in action, clearing the debris, rearranging our homes, taking care of loved ones and other inevitable duties, it is the act of acceptance, of surrendering into what “is” that allows us to know that we are exactly in the center of our circle – right where we are supposed to be. This is the place where we can locate our peace.
I would like to pass onto you a portion of Yogananda’s text Inner Peace. As you meditate on it, may it help you to find moments of comfort and clarity in these times of disruption and transformation.
Fix your mind inwardly between the eyebrows on the shoreless lake of peace. Watch the eternal circle of rippling peace around you. The more you watch intently, the more you will feel the wavelets of peace spreading from the eyebrows to the forehead, from the forehead to the heart, and on to every cell in your body. Now the waters of peace are overflowing the banks of your body and inundating the vast territory of your mind. The flood of peace flows over the boundaries of your mind and moves on in infinite directions.
May peace bring balance to your existence and vibrate out to those who would benefit.