Do You Have A Yoga-Mind?
After a car accident, my toned and fit body was filled with fiery pain. There were procedures to endure and measured aftermaths. While in the MRI, I thought I would occupy my mind with images of dance. I had been a professional dancer for many years, and I loved the transcendence of it all. However, trapped in my painful body, that is not where my mind went! It went to yoga. I was “doing” yoga poses, yoga breathing, yoga chanting. I guess you’re not surprised, but I was. I defined myself as a dancer, not a yogini!
Yoga as Healing
The practice was there for me, as a healing tool. Do not underestimate the power of yoga! We know that yoga means union…union of mind, body, and soul. It signifies union of the self with the Divine, and the union of Namaste, “…and we are One.”
We know that yogis did Shavasana at gravesites in order to become familiar with death; to contemplate death, where the body does not exist. Ascetics to middle-way practitioners alike moved philosophy toward an acquired balance of awareness. Arising out of the body we meet mindfulness, a practice of Yoga-Mind. We know that yoga prepares us for this bliss, since it is used to prepare us for meditation.
Exploring the Edge
So was I meditating during the MRI? I believe I was on the verge of meditation…the edge between extreme discomfort and relief, just before deep relaxation. Working at the edge holds the faith of release. Some call it liberation, elongation, or letting-go. It was what I was seeking during that time of pain, fear, and distress. Then the practice kicked-in to rescue me. I found myself doing yoga in my mind. The place where it really happens. A widening of spaciousness opened where all things are allowed.
Accept Your Feelings
I like to say “There is enough space in the Universe for all your feelings.” As Louise Hay says “If you can feel, you can heal.”
Yoga teaches us to accept our feelings…first physically, then emotionally, then esoterically, in a transcendental realm where they merge with Love. As we observe feelings we are able to let judgment fall away. It is inherent body-knowledge of feeling that reveals truth. In our culture, logic is praised more than feeling. In a heady world, feelings are relegated pejoratively to animal instincts rather than a path to mystic insight. Yet there is a need to understand this animal-self in order to know our higher-self. To understand the gifts of sensation, first embrace the animal intelligence in your body. Being human, you have a self-awareness that can even talk about itself; animals don’t do that. They have another way of knowing.
Another Way of Knowing
I recall my cat’s veterinarian telling me that animals feel pain differently than humans. Perhaps they experience sensation with less worry or fewer negative scenarios. Of course we don’t exactly know what they think, but there is something to the concept of turning down the volume on fear by immersing oneself into sensation and observation; two things we practice in yoga. The “silent witness” awakens, and awareness becomes its own self-corrective mechanism. This is the path toward Yoga-Mind.
There I was, not dancing in my mind, but doing yoga in my mind! I was navigating the journey from claustrophobia, pain and fear; moving toward breath, freedom and unmeasured presence…thankful for yoga. Freedom elicits gratitude, and gratitude is a pathway to joy. These states help to open the heart; where Yoga-Mind will ultimately take you further toward bliss.
In my yoga teaching now, I remind students to immerse themselves into this mystical consciousness. It is the practice of reducing suffering through acceptance. The presence of Yoga-Mind will arise. The nature of the soul is power, bliss, love, and eternal consciousness. This is revealed through yoga-mind. If you are doing yoga, or meditation, you are already practicing this numinous perception.
May it be here for you. May it bring you peace. May you come to know Yoga-Mind.
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