Input, Output and Energetic Containment
The irony of creating space to rest over Christmas and Summer holidays is the fast, accumulating dash you embark on to get there. It is such a strange outlook – to throw yourself into extremes in order to find a moment of peace.
Consistent yoga practice is a way to prevent the extremes that this time of year challenges us with – the work is actually done when it may seem less needed! We reap the benefits for when challenges arrive. This is the preventative health that the practice offers.
~It is no good trying to do something when the house is already on fire.~
Yoga benefits you because you start to observe your conditioning, patterns and response to situations (like the pre-Christmas build up.) Everyday patterns are part of you and yoga practice shines the light on the ones that aren’t working. Practice creates self awareness. It creates perspective. It informs good decision making. It connects you into the world so that you navigate your path with clarity.
By doing the practice you train yourself to know and feel space – it embeds in your system through slow physical movement and breath practices. Observing between postures. Feeling stillness.
Ahimsa (‘to do no harm’) and all the other Yamas (social disciplines) start to arise.
Non harm to others, communicating with empathy and care, resisting desire for things that do not belong to you, moderation in all actions, and refraining from greed or taking more than you need. Someof these can seem challenging at this time of year!
The Yamas are the foundation of all yoga practice according to Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga. If these are not in place the mind will be distracted, absorbed, unsettled and any practice of Yoga will be tainted or difficult to achieve. The path will be obscured.
Moving the breath can create perspective.
According to Yoga, the energetic system is the primary tool for cleaning the Mind and bringing greater understanding and ease of living.
When you pay attention to it and honour it you bring to the party a lighter and more easeful self. When used mindfully, the breath allows a letting go of the heaviness (dukha) that you easily accumulate. Accumulation can be your greatest enemy on so many levels.
The breath is the driver of your life. If you don’t have it in healthy abundance other parts of your mental, physical and emotional systems suffer. This is well known. So along with physical capacity comes energetic wellness. The two are intertwined.
Do you know your limit? Can you step back and create space when needed? Do you give out more than you receive back? Do you observe your energy – and pay attention to it?
Energy dictates overall health.
Thank you to all my regulars who have put in the time on the mat during the year and become their own ‘containers’ – harnessing their energetic self through practice. I see the inner connections you are making over and over after every class. Self care and opening awareness.
I look forward to reconnection again in 2024.
Wishing all a restful Christmas season with space to breathe..