Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Value of the Self

Yoga and Buddhism make it quite clear that dropping the Ego/Self is a very important endeavor. If we are not able to drop the Ego, our meditation will never be quite grounded or authentic - instead, it will always have an element of, "look how well I've learned to meditate!" Similarly, if the Ego is not dropped from your yoga practice, an inordinate amount of time and mental energy is going to be spent checking out the other practitioners in the studio & seeing if you're "better" than them!

This is a useless endeavor for multiple reasons. First of all, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. To use mine as an example, I have flexible hamstrings which helps me with forward bends. But I also have an inner-ear problem which makes standing balance poses very difficult for me! Not only is it not helpful to compare yourself to other students in the class, also try to avoid comparison with yourself. As soon as you start to think about how you did a particular pose better yesterday, you've moved out of the present moment and into the past. So keep that Ujaiyi Breathing flowing, no matter what!

So, after all this talk about dropping the Self/Ego, how do we make use of it? Well, the answer lies not in making use of it for ourselves, but instead for other people. You know the old saying, "never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes"? It's built on that principle. So, while trying to work with your own Ego to become more calm, peaceful, and accepting every day, you can also use that Ego to generate compassion for those having a difficult day. Use the Ego to think about how you would want someone to respond to you if you were upset. And because everyone is different (& not everyone likes hugs!), sometimes the safest bet is to say something like, "I'm so sorry you're upset. I empathize, and if I can do anything, please let me know."

Beginning to use the Ego to understand others rather than just yourself will open up a whole new world of compassion and empathy for you, as well as for those you share this energy with.

YMCA Vinyasa Int. class, I'll see you all at the Y tonight at 7pm! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Life is a Verb

Once again, it's been far too long!!

If you are interested in GREAT deals on massage or Private Yoga Instruction, please email me :)

And now, a little wisdom from Osho for the day:

"In reference to true life all nouns are wrong, only verbs are true. When you say, "This is a tree," you are making a wrong statement existentially. Not lingustically, not grammatically, but existentially you are making a wrong statement, because the tree is not a static thing, it is growing. It is never in a state of is-ness, it is always becoming. In fact, to call it a tree is not right; it is tree-ing. A river is always river-ing."

...We can use this same understanding to deepen our grasp of our poses. Even when we think were are as still as possible in an asana, there is always the movement of life, the movement of breath, the movement of the muscles continuing to relax or engage.... the whole posture is alive with subtle movement and energy. If your breathing is consistent and you are able to turn your attention inward, you will be able to observe this remarkable sensation - the sensation of pure, vibrant life.