A few weeks ago, I came upon this quote and right away it reminded me of a yogic practice called "Aparigraha" (one of the five Yama's or "restraints" in the eight limbs of yoga)....
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What is the difference between yoga and a workout?
(The following is inspired by a transcript from the very intelligent and soulful Simon Borg-Olivier)
What matters most in your life? Feeling good or looking good? When we are younger, looking good is often a very important component...but as you get older feeling good tends to become much more important....
Fences. We see them a lot...surrounding houses, along edges of roads and highways, keeping boundaries and protecting property and land from intruders. Often times, fences are built to keep something or someone from coming in. "Do not enter." Then there are fences that contain something. Fences that do not let you out. "Do not leave."
I was recently inspired by one of Seth Godin's daily posts called, "The Invisible Fence". In his blog, he alluded that fences can be obsolete, and rarely do they keep us confined. If we care enough, if we are determined enough, it is as though there is no fence.
It has been a long winter. One of the longest I've experienced in my life, and it had nothing to do with the weather. As I get excited about seeing the official season near to a close, I have been reflecting on the time. It has been a rough few months...for myself and my family. Working toward a life of deep fulfillment is tough work, and with a lot of variables in the mix, it can feel like a circus balancing act. The past few weeks I have felt catapulted, emotionally. In working diligently toward what I hope to be a new path for more than a year...and have not been able to manifest much change, at least in the way I envisioned it. In fact, it has felt more like swimming against a strong current and moving ever-so-slowly backwards.
But this week, I experienced a shift. Sometimes it takes a nudge, sometimes more than a nudge...thanks to my dear husband, a good friend across the world...and this quote
Sometimes it feels like I'm floundering around, blind-folded, trying to figure out what to do, how to do it or where to go next. Sometimes I even resist doing anything for fear of failing, or not meeting the glorified expectation I've created in my futuristic mind.
Through the practice of yoga, I am learning something profound. It is in the moments of stumbling we can find our way. Practicing yoga and the repetition of moving in sync with our breath creates awareness for this to happen. Taking face-plants reminds us that we can stand up. Breathing on purpose reminds us that we are in control.
Yoga helps us recognize the part of ourself that gets hidden under our job, the business of life, responsibilities and obilgations. The practice of looking within....even just with a simple pause during a busy day, can transform a moment of floundering into a moment of freedom.
Close your eyes randomly in the middle of the day (unless you're driving or standing in the middle of a road, ha!), and notice if you can hear your heartbeat surrounded by the commotion of life. Keep your eyes closed and notice if you become afraid of the darkness. If the darkness is uncomfortable, keep your eyes closed, hold onto that discomfort a little longer. Let it settle away and soften. Break the pattern. Stumble, fall...recognize what happens on the way down? Now, can you rise up grasping something far more powerful?
The flame I display today is numb. You will only find it if you lower your head deep into the hole beneath me. It's there, I know it. It is soft, a murky flicker and barely grasping to the wick. Colors are dim, bland, unimpressive. My body, cold, heavy and slowly crumbling.
Hello, I'm Julie.
One of the many things yoga taught me was empowerment...and I hope to share that with you here.
Bring wisdom, nourishment and a deeper connection to all aspects of your life.