Floating on the River of Life

Yoga Warrior PoseCreative Commons License photo credit: swan-t

I was struggling for an idea for this week’s article when Charlotte (this beautiful web site’s owner and creator – for those who have not been introduced) wrote something in an email that set off my article warning bells…Charlotte had written that she felt Yoga could help anyone work through so much in their life – true words without a doubt to be sure.  Upon deeper reflection on this short comment, I began to realize that our culture has accepted Yoga as an avenue to greater physical and mental health, but…

How do you demonstrate the impact Yoga has on our every day existence?  In the East from whence Yoga originated, there is a long and documented history of Yoga and its benefits spanning thousands of years – it is ingrained in the culture and in the individual equally, with no need to find acceptable reasons why Yoga should be practiced.  In the West, we tend to shy away from the less physical aspects of Yoga, which may appear to be a stereotypical comment, but I find it to be true in the majority of Yoga studios I have polled both recently and the past.

Fair warning!

We could talk about the physical aspects, the emotional aspects, the spiritual or less tangible rewards or benefits from practice…but how can we speak of these benefits in a way that we here in the West can relate to and more importantly absorb?  Today, God help you all – I thought poetry may be a suitable guide.  Poetry can defy common conventions in language and meaning – often ‘short-circuiting’ our rational mind and allowing new windows into ourselves.  It is my hope you find those windows, and come to know the wonder and value of who you really are

Balance begins from deep within, it is not about physical prowess…
In peace, at the center of your being, no stress can reach you
The morning commute becomes a time for mindful reflection
As if by magic, you begin to flow with Life, even as you cease to move

The mad rush of breakfast and bundling family off to school and work
You have your part, but something is not the same
Today, your sun salutation left you in breathless wonder as you greeted the dawn
A smiling island of peace and clear mind in the midst of a new day’s chaos…

The customer who unfairly takes his frustrations out on you
Who once would leave you shaking in angry response
Now you see glimpses of the light within him, shining past Ego’s childish rages
Compassion wins a new friend

The company laptop that squeals its last breath
Just as you complete the final word of your presentation…changes nothing
You begin again, knowing there is reason for everything
Seeing past the lost and realizing what could be found in the still buzzing wreckage

A higher awareness begins to pervade your existence, an infinite you
Speaks quietly in your heart…
No longer of this world realized, the wonder of this journey makes
Joyful, childlike, the beginner’s mind…empty and yet full.

The myriad tasks you face each day accomplish themselves it seems
You stretch and bend in the wind of modern life
No longer buffeted to and fro in what was once a storm
You walk your own path in tranquil abiding, feeling the breeze caress your skin.

Through Yoga and the gift of remembering it brings
You find relationship with all of humanity and all of creation
Body healing now, energy and health abound
A smiling face radiating peaceful love greets you in the mirror.

Night falls…a gentle curtain as you finish your last asana
Unaware, you bring blessings to those around you
Aware, you learn to free yourself of all misconceptions
No worrying over unknown tomorrows, the flower of Life begins to blossom within.

My friends, may you find peace and balance through your own practice as you travel the pathway of your own existence.

Namaste…

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