1.19 BHAVAPRATYAYO VIDEHA PRAKRTILAYAANAAM
A wise older woman once told me that God hands us the same lessons over and over again until we are ready to learn them. I have not been religious in nature and do not follow the Christian heritage of my parents, however as far as life goes; I have had many lessons on repeat. I have stepped back to witness my own patterns. I have had moments where I recognize certain patterns and still find myself caught in a loop of the same dumb mistakes. Refreshingly I have also broken through some major patterns in the last few years that have created a great deal of love, emotional freedom and abundance in my life.
The sutra here refers to actual physical reincarnation. I choose not to take this on any more than the concept of a “God-head” for this discussion. No one can really know what happens after we die other than the dead. It is a topic of little interest to me. Instead I know the one thing I can focus on no matter where the flow of the universe may carry me is living this life to my fullest potential.
This verse speaks to me more metaphorically of deeply submerged patterns that can rise again and again. Each time we revisit a circumstance we carry at least some part of our previous experience with us. We can look at the current circumstance through the lens of our past to help us navigate the situation, but that lens might be clouded with past judgments and ill feelings that may not always serve us in the way we hope. To remove an old pattern we must replace it with a healthy one. This requires that we can step back with the clarity to notice the pattern in the first place and that once we see it for what it really is we actively make a different choice. To choose we must believe we have the skills the options and the power to do so.
Today was the final day of the Sydney Lunar Immersion at House of Yoga with Stefanie Glasenapp, Julia Weis and Jewels Ashby. This final day of the immersion is all about empowering the students to own the skills that they have learned over the week. We began the day with a silent practice of the Lunar Asana sequence. The students self-lead the postures and have the support of everyone doing it at the same time in case they get lost in the flow. When we are lead all the time a certain part of the brain shuts off and always listens for the next cue rather than using its self-direction. Experiencing the practice in this way allows one to really trust the wisdom of their embodiment. It is also wonderful to have the mental spaciousness created by not listening to an instructor to give more time to feel your way into poses and cultivate the subtle aspects in the body.
The rest of the day followed a similar pattern of freedom in movement while having a lead person providing some inspiration. Julia and I each lead a silent Thai massage sequence. Students could visually follow our flow, take variations, or detour completely. Stefanie gave a beautiful demonstration of a therapeutic flight moving our beautiful student (and Birthday Girl) through the air with grace while transitioning in and out of a variety of poses. The students followed suit and the Maha (great) therapeutics flying was touching vision.
The day ended with some chanting and sharing of what we wanted to carry with us from the immersion container. Releasing patterns and creating new ones was top of the list. The exact details vary from person to person, but the clear thread remains, we are all working to become the best part of ourselves. In a space such as this, we have the opportunity to share what that is for each of us and in saying it aloud it seems to take on a very different power.
I thought back to the few days before I left for this trip and stated out loud that I was beginning this blog project. I have wanted to work on my writing more and yet have failed miserably to commit to any consistency. This time when I made my statement to a group I knew that putting it out to my community and giving it voice would help to hold me accountable; So far so good. The more I write the easier it is for me to feel vulnerable and want to drop the whole thing, yet each day I receive some small note that lets me know that at least one person was tuning in and I am again reminded to step towards new patterns in order to release my old ones.
I think the next pattern to shift will be replacing lack of sleep with a commitment to napping. I hope to be held accountable for this one too. Ready to tackle the long flight and face my jet lag!
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.