Yoga is of course about seeing very clearly, what is actually happening. Not what we wish, or don't want, or "tell me what you want, what you really, really want" thank you Spice Girls but what is here, now, right in front of us. But Yoga is also skilfulness in action, thank you to the Bhagavad Gita for bringing us this wonderfully deep and complex battle that show's us what skilfulness in life looks like.
One of the juicy parts of this epic, is that it directs us in many different ways, to fully be who we are. Yes, isn't that cool! An ancient and epic tale of war, which slowly offers us much advice on life.
Anyway, its a big topic this Bhagavad Gita, but there's one part in particular which I'd love to write about. And its this, personal alignment, or integrity. THIS! Yes.
Personal integrity has a feeling-tone. We know when we feel good about our words and actions, maybe a smile, perhaps a skip in your step, most likely a great nights sleep. But on the flip side we certainly feel it when we are not, think anxiety, worry, fearful thoughts, lack of sleep. There's a knowing there, and its like a feedback system (Vijnanamaya Kosha territory!).
You just ##know##!!!
And this is where the skilfulness comes into the picture, *skill*fullness. Think about that, feeling in such alignment that you can be full of skill in responding to and envisioning your life, creating good Karma and maybe disrupting old patterns that no longer are useful.
How do we get there? Well, there's no "there". It feels impractical and honestly stressful, to make it a final destination, or a place to get to. But what we can do, its we can notice and really embrace that feeling when we are in alignment, and also, when we are not. Self-study, or Svadhyaya is our trusty companion here. If we aren't learning from our days, we are not taking advantage of the platter of information that each day gives us.
Take your time, each day take notes.
Journal, get nerdy with your days.
There are many ways in Yoga to nourish and fill your tank. Each person can probably find at least a handful of ways to feel good through the practice of Yoga.
Lately, I've taken time to just sit outside, enjoying a warm drink and soaking up the warmth and feel of this glorious sunshine. Simple.
Did you know by just doing that, your nourishing and tending to yourself. Yes! I know, so simple but so much more. The Yogi's put names to 5 layers of our being, called Koshas. Sitting and soaking up the sunshine and breathing in the fresh air, is nourishment for two of these, your Annamaya Kosha and your Pranamaya Kosha, thats your skin or your most gross physical layer and your vital energy in non Sanskrit terms.
These koshas are subtle layers of our being, and are a way of looking after and nourishing ourselves, beyond the common lingo of “mind, body & spirit”.
If your looking to dive a bit deeper into the Koshas here are a small handful of practices (some of which you may already do) to get you started:
1. Soak up the sunshine (ahem, yes as mentioned above)
2. Breathe in the fresh air (special times; dawn and dusk)
3. Practice the Hum Sa Mantra (quietly saying to yourself; inhale Ham, exhale Sa)
4. Pick a Yoga Sutra, a poem, a value, set an intention and really feel into that, soak it up, embody it and let it become part of who you are and how you are in the world.
5. Find something in nature to be with that helps you settle into a sense of awe, a sense of honour and or reverence, for this magical planet we live on. Let yourself be omazed!
So just there, above are 5 sweet & simple practices. If you’d like to know more about these, Light On Life by BKS Iyengar is a great read. He was a householder like us, managing homes, feeding dogs, cooking meals. He shows us how to nourish these in ourselves, in our daily life. No moving to an ashram required!!
Sweet hugs to you.