International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 52 - Page 63

“We need stillness in the midst of the blinding speed of change.” Yogi Bhajan In the yoga sutras there are explanations of the blocks that hold us back from our true expression of our being. When we patiently work on those blocks we may see progress. The irony is that when one reaches a certain state then no envisioning is needed. A person who has evolved into the neutral mind we speak about in yoga is the same whether they lose or gain; things come to them simply because they have truly attained the state of non trying. It is kind of heady stuff and most of us will never get there. This state is called the state of liberation, true freedom. Beware of the guru who tells you they can help you manifest just by your envisioning. Do we really need someone else to help us? We might! But in the end we still do it ourselves. We can be our own guru and trust the teacher within. This brings us to the topic of going within. There are various ways to go within in yoga. You can focus on your breath to learn how to recreate the breath you had when you were born, which is a much healthier and revealing breath. Much as we try to control our lives the truth is we do not. Holding your breath will not control anything! Breath is one way we can get our mind stronger in its clarity and our emotions more honest and open. Long deep breath through the nose is the easiest way to start. You can do that anywhere. No mat needed! Most people breathe 15 times per minute. If you can slow down to 8 breaths in and 8 breaths out your mind and body will benefit immensely with clarity and relaxation. Another way to get your mind ready to direct it toward some purpose is japa, or chanting. Some people think that seems weird but surprisingly once they create the vibration, especially accompanied by uplifting music; they often feel better and more able to do what they desire to do. Envisioning may be a good way to motivate us toward our goal. It may even get us there. But if it does not it is great to know there are tools in yoga that can go all the way to the depth of the subconscious to unlock the hidden blocks there, called samskara in yoga. It is these that may be inhibiting us from all our conscious efforts. We may think we are doing all we can but if the subconscious is not with us we still will not get there. Yoga nidra is a relaxation technique that helps us get to this stage of our blocks. Some people do not have the patience for all this meditation “stuff”. They may, however, love going to their yoga class just to sweat and move. If they breathe on the moves they will still get the benefits on some level to the mind and body that yoga can bring about. It can be so subtle we miss it. The mind is this elusive thing, fluttering from one thought to the next, like a butterfly. If we could tame the mind we would be able to use it to envision a better world and be a part of it. A friend sent me the saying “ Everything you are against weakens you, everything you are for empowers you”. She got it from a fortune cookie. That makes me think of another Yogi Bhajan quote “ Nothing is right or wrong, only your thinking makes it so.” I am against wind power because I am against exploitation but within that I am for the life of trees, birds, animals and humans and so by being for that am I weakening myself? I feel I am standing for nonharming by being against destructive power that is based on lies and exploits people with money bribes. I envision standing up for the rights of the innocent, which causes me also to get involved in animal causes. I envision a country where no kill can be created if we really make the effort. That brings me back to the yoga sutras, which suggests that there is karma, which we can change, and that which we reap because of something we have sown. It still brings to me the eternal question even if what I envision does not come to pass this is the moment I have. Would I perhaps like to do be doing something different this moment or is it fine just as it is, no matter the end result. As Yogi Bhajan predicted decades ago it seems we are on a treadmill of time. Maybe, just maybe, if I can experience some stillness, my envisioning may just come true; I believe in miracles and hard work. And I believe we need rest to allow the envisioning to really integrate in. Donna Amrita Davidge teaches yoga in NY City since 1985 and at her retreat home in Island Falls Maine since 1997 with her husband, chef, massage therapist and musician Kent Bonham. If interested in their next 21 day 200 Hour Teacher Training August 23rd please contact them or for summer retreats in Maine, ongoing, or Tuscany, Italy October 19th-26th. (646) 316-5151, (888) 235-2395