Last night after yoga class a student said, "This is not the same body and mind I walked in with. I feel so much calmer and something that was bothering me right before class is not having the same pull on me now." We both remarked on what a miracle that is. That in an hour and fifteen minutes you can walk in with one body and exchange it for another! You can be so upset about something that you can't imagine letting go of it and then, ping.... it is maybe not gone...but eased off a bit.
Yoga is a path of transformation and transformation can be instantaneous or arduous. The beauty of yoga is that it creates instantaneous shifts of consciousness. Moving from external stimulation to internal stillness creates peace of mind and a sense ease in the body. At the beginning of yoga classes students take a moment to check in, to examine the state of their body and mind from the inside out. In doing so they learn it is different every time. They learn they are never in the same body twice. Each class reveals different sensations, each posture, each breath, each tiny stretch changes the body and shifts the reaction of the mind. Yogis know everyday is different, every minute things shift and that change is guaranteed. So it is important to stop and check in, to see what is present for the and mind throughout the day.
The first time someone told me you are never in the same body twice I thought, "Are you kidding me? Isn't this the same body I walked into class with?" Well, yes and no, when I deepened my inner awareness I realized an ache I had yesterday was gone, or increased. An emotion I was struggling with an hour ago had eased or disappeared. The body begins each day like a sponge, soaking in all experiences and holding onto them along the way. Each event collects on the body like dust, and we come to yoga to shake off the dust and release accumulated experiences. As the dust clears the body changes and the mind shifts into a broader perspective. It is like taking off in an airplane, at first you recognize every tiny detail then, when the pilot says the plane has leveled off at 30,000 feet, you glance out the window and can not pick out any one particular structure on the earth. Yogis want to see their lives from above 30,000 feet!
I know this can happen. I see it everyday in my yoga classes, people come in, tight, anxious, tired or hyperactive. As muscles stretch and groans and moans are released a quiet hush settles over the room. The yogis would say this hush is the magical moment of union with the original self, the self you were born with. It may also be thought of as falling back in love with the person you have been sleeping with your entire life, 24 hours a day since the day you were born. Falling in love with your very own soul and giving it wings is the transformational path of yoga. It moves you from focussing on doing to embracing the simplicity of being. The simplicity of being allows internal awareness to guide your life, and being guided from the inside out keeps the dust off and connects you to the place of truth within. So keep practicing yoga, shake off the dust, and together we can create a clearer, joyful and more blissful universe.
To learn more about the author, Lisa Lofthous, visit her website www.30-daysofyoga.com.