Yoga practice is like life. It only works if you turn up!
Turning up simply means being here, in the now, moment-to-moment.
Very easy to say but very hard to do.
The masters tell us that yoga postures became effortless when the plays of opposites diminish.
In life we are shaped by what we think are opposites. Our likes, dislikes, our needs, wants and what we try to avoid. This is exhausting.
When we treat everything the same there are no opposites. There is just now. When we tune into now we are centred, balanced. When we tune in we are beautifully poised between opposites.
No worries, no you, no me, no outside, no inside, no past, no future…. just stuff…arising constantly.
This doesn’t mean you reject everything or fall asleep on the job. No.
It’s the opposite. When you pay attention in this way you become fully alive to what you are doing and who you are. The reality of now, its purpose, its whole reason for being becomes crystal clear.
Then you have moments of absolute clarity. They will pass, but the experience will stay with you. Then you will want to know more…
When you feel that don’t delay…..act on it!
In your hatha yoga practice every time you turn, move stretch, balance and breath; their combined practice creates a close localised context, a physical and spatial field into which your attention should be fully engaged.
But what sort of attention?
It’s a knowing, letting go of imagined outcomes and expectation. Your attention should simply be on the experience of being and doing and not on future reward or results.
Simply stay away from comparisons or judgments. What you are doing is fine for you in that moment.
All good artists know this. Stick with what you are doing. It will all come good in the end as long as it’s done with a knowing attention.
After some practice your ability to pay attention will grow. You will feel ‘embodied’. You will learn to be…. just as you are.
When you learn to apply this new perception into what you do day-to-day you begin to ‘switch-on’.
Then waiting for the bus, siting in meetings, listening to your friends all evolve into yoga practice. Where you are, what you are doing no matter how trivial become opportunities for deep connection with others and yourself.
Which is pretty much the meaning of yoga – union.