Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rise Up

"And I rise like a bird, in the haze when the first rays touch the sky." 
Waters and Gilmour

As I climb the stairs to the yoga studio where I teach and practice at, I am filled with gratitude.  Laying out my yoga mat, I remember all the people who support me in my efforts to find inner calm.  The benefits of my practice extend outward, in my actions and reactions to family and friends.  My mind is able to focus and I feel I have been given time and space to just be.  This is my life in balance.

In any group class, there is a common goal of learning and experiencing.  While I sit, connect to breath, I notice individual thoughts arise, scatter, and melt away.  The wisdom and offerings conveyed by the soothing voice of my teacher remind me that I am not alone in the struggles of life.  There is a balance to achieve and strive towards.  There is wisdom, strength, and compassion in shared moments of stillness, a quiet space to feel the connectedness of all that is around us.  Beside me, others are stretching out their worries and responsibility, easing their way into coordinating movement and breath.  I know they have the pressures of work, or finding work, as well as, family and friends that require attention and care, just like me.

We all need food, water, warmth, love and support around us to survive.  When there is an abnormal level of imbalance, then life spins out of control.  We look outward to find happiness, rather than inward.  Relying on an external source to give us freedom from stress, worry, loneliness, or sadness is only temporary.  Sooner or later, the issues arise and need to be dealt with.  The beauty of acknowledging the need to fight is the beginning of letting go.

We can learn from those around us, draw from their opinions, experiences and knowledge.  Sharing and communicating thoughts and feelings brings us closer to one another.  We are all one living, breathing, being reaching toward a common goal.  Rise up, take your happiness, connect with others in similar situations, know you are not alone.

Lying on my back, with the weight of my body sinking down into the earth, I relax my physical body and awaken my mind to my breath.  This is the first jewel of yoga, inner wakefulness, knowledge and wisdom, known as the Buddha.  Inhale followed by exhale, thoughts move in and thoughts move out.  Softly and slowly, I turn on my side and pause.  This is the second jewel of yoga, becoming aware of my surroundings and reawakening my internal life to my external life, known as the Dharma.  With my eyes closed, I sit up, open my heart and press my palms together.  I bow my head and thank myself for my practice, aware that this time is a gift.  The third jewel of yoga, known as the Sangha, is the connection of life, sharing, supporting, and trusting ourselves and one another.  Knowing we are all finding our path under the great big sky.

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