Saturday, October 25, 2008

ACTION OVER FORM... on and off the mat

I've chosen to begin my autumn series of yoga classes with the theme of "action over form". This basic premise of Anusara yoga's Universal Principles of Alignment and of life itself can help us "let go" of our mind's fascination with results, or what we look like (ego mind attachments) and instead align us with yoga's true virtues through the utilization of our own divine energy which is always within us - awaiting activation. Act for the sake of action.

" You have a right to your actions,
but never to your action's fruits.
Act for the action's sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.

Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure."

Bhagavad Gita 2.47

We've all heard the euphemism, "the way things look aren't always as they appear"; in some asanas and in our 'doings' through out our days, we can have the appearance of looking effective even with little effort, in these cases we are not practicing yoga; we are not in an asana if we are not in the "seat of our soul".

An Anusara yoga practice values the importance of "action over form"... physically we experience the internal heat of muscular energy as we isometrically root into the earth while simultaneously hugging into our midline. By hugging our muscles to our bones we experience something and create change. This action is so much more productive than just holding ourselves up in a "form".

A central idea within the Universal Principles of Alignment is to uphold the 3 A's: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.

This is a foundational concept within the Anusara method in which every pose is infused with meaningful intention connected to the grand purposes of yoga* through the awareness of specific postural alignment, and balanced action between stability and freedom.

* Yoga is a powerful path to fulfill all of our deepest spiritual longings.
What do all people fundamentally want?
A: Happiness, love, health, peace, well-being, inner knowing.

To rephrase the Tao Te Ching:

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serentiy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It is sooo time for CHANGE...

I am thrilled that Barack Obama is closer than ever to be becoming our next president. Yee Ha! the end of these miserable and frightening Bush years!! I am so excited that my liberal and imaginatively innovative son will be able to creatively partake in a green economy under the leadership of Barack Obama.

I just spent an hour listening to the second most powerful person in the US, and hence world... CA Democrat, Nancy Pelosi. The succinct, intelligent and honest Speaker of the House of Representatives, answered questions as asked by Charlie Rose on his PBS program. (Yes, I missed Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and the Colbert Report to hear her speak.) She, to me, is the clearest and most to-the-point speaker of any politician and governmental official I have ever heard.

"Educate, innovate, compete and prevail!" Nancy respectfully chants is the direction she sees Congress and our new President taking the country if indeed Barack Obama becomes our next President. She is confident of Barack Obama's ability to run the White House in a fair, bipartisan way, almost revolutionary to what we have seen for the last decade. Having hopefully 150 Democrats in the House and maybe 60 in the Senate... but always having a strong 2 party representation. It's what makes this country work... we need more moderate Republicans to be elected though, not the ultra right conservative cronies that have created such wide divides (not to mention fear and isolationism for millions, which is the opposite of true freedom.)

Nancy also states, what clearly is not understood by McCain-Palin supporters who rant "drill, baby drill!", that "in maybe TEN years we'll see a 2 cent reduction at the pump with the proposed increased drilling in Alaska, not a reduced dependence on foreign oil. The US uses 20% of the world's oil and we only have 3% of it in reserve- drilling the 3% is not as important as conservation and innovation in the long or short run of things. We have the ability NOW to create a new economic model and energy infrastructure via green technology and education; we need a president who'll encourage government incentives and who says YES to rebuilding our country's infrastucture, and NO to spending billions on Iraq's infrastucture; YES to health care for every American and easier paths to higher education, and NO to the millions of dollars in tax payer subsidies that have been given to wealthy oil companies making 40 billion dollar yearly profits.

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi will change this country by saying yes to our country's patiently waiting potential... " the dirt will fly" she says, meaning the changes and growth potential will begin right away and new opportunities will abound. We've been waiting for a President to make the decisions that matter and President Bush has avoided them, ignored them, or said no to them, well we can rest asure that with Barack Obama in the White House, change is gonna come!

Now, in my personal life... economic pressures have continually led me to spend more time selling the creativity and talents of others than in pursuing my own talents and abilities. I know I can earn a living if I put my mind to it, but my minds always elsewhere, if not on the struggle to survive, then on the tasks at hand. Everyone's Dharma is to find what they do best and enjoy most which in some way can serve others. I feel a natural pull to follow my soul's path, which is also the path of all souls- for it is the flow of Universal energy toward happiness and bliss, towards the fulfillment of Dharma and one's heart's desire.

The time has never been better to honor one's path by being truthful, why with all the tumultous change currently occurring, the mix, as ugly and difficult as it is, is getting rid of falsehoods and clearing the path for heart opening flow. I am setting an intention to honor my heart, and to be not only free from struggle and full of grace, but to also dedicate more time and energy to the "beauty I love" ... to my son, my yoga and our community and the beautiful natural world, and through our creative, giving spirits we'll have fun!

"Let the beauty you love be what you do... there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth" - Rumi.