"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness" Dalai Lama
The lights are low and gentle music is playing in the background. The room is cozy and you walk quietly towards an empty space, unroll your mat and slowly begin to adjust yourself to the calmness that surrounds you. You find yourself seated in a cross leg, hero or lotus pose ready to begin your yoga practice.
For the next hour and a half you are carefully guided through a practice with all the right cues and technical terms beautifully delivered. Your mind is awaiting for each direction to guide your body from one pose to another. How and where to breathe is gently being instructed. What and how you feel in a pose is softly being reminded at different stages in your practice.
Have we become so afraid of 'Observing our self' that we need to depend on others to do this for us? Are we afraid of finding the answers for ourselves?
The emotions, pain, activities, heart aches or joy in my external world (outside) reflects on my internal world (self) or vice versa. They are my partners, friends, lovers on the journey of self awareness or discovery. My two worlds can rarely be separated from each other. They go hand in hand....
When doing my practice (whatever it maybe) I observe my breath. I imagine my breath flowing through the different parts of my body. I like to connect my breath to a color (blue) or an element (water). When I focus (yes even me a yoga teacher!) on my breath I can feel waves of water flowing through me. Reaching every part of my body. I listen to the sound of each inhale and exhale. Allowing each breath to be easy, fluid or unrestricted. My breath is my guidance for my next Asana.
I am now the observer and the witness to the many different sensations, pain, and energy that will arise within me. I give myself time within each pose to feel those feelings and slowly begin to distance myself from them. It is here where I start to learn, hear and understand my unique body and its movements. I begin to understand where my strength and weakness lies in any posture. To discover my own feelings are important, not the way I look nor how flexible I am or even how twisted I can get in a pose! To just be in a basic asana and to remain non attached is tedious.
My need of bringing connection within my heart and mind during my yoga practice is key as it is this connection that I take with me into my external world. My need to want, desire or hold onto will slowly disintegrate with this practice.