My journey into Yoga over the past six or so years began with a physical practice. I had no desire for anything other than one more good workout. My body was tight from rock climbing when I first started and all I wanted was a fun way to stretch. Yoga definitely was stretching, and a quality workout, without the boring staring around at others. I never let it sink in.
It was roughly about a year and a half ago to two years ago that I finally started letting the time for meditation become significant to me personally and to my classes. When I started to let Yoga pierce my heart rather than just my muscles, I couldn’t get enough. I started my 200 hour journey and have never looked back. Yoga has helped me realize that I have control. My breath continues and acts as a beautiful metronome that brings me back when I start to drown in my own mind. In short, I had no desire to go deeper into my own consciousness. I wanted the superficial that came with ignorance. I was robbing myself of a deeper connection with me. I’ve learned that in my own uniqueness that I am pretty damn cool. When I forget, I come right back to my breath. And my breath allows me to lose myself in simplicity and beauty.
Despite the troubles of daily life, when you sit, paying attention to your breath, or attuning to a mantra, or observing the sensations in your body or the thoughts in your mind, you have the opportunity to touch, for a moment, that deep abiding state of wholeness at your core. Coming home to this feeling every day can create a calm center, a peaceful container for the passing difficulties in your life.
Too often, we fear that if we let ourselves dive into such a deep state of consciousness, we will never emerge. We will lose our identity or our grasp on reality. But as we struggle to stay in control, we feel more and more separate from reality. It is in this ability to lose ourselves that we find the fullness of who we are. Practicing this dissolving of self during meditation enhances our ability to let go, to be more creative, to dance and sing without self-consciousness, and to fully relax.
Mark Epstein says that it is “one of the most important tasks of adulthood to discover, or rediscover, the ability to lose oneself.” He goes on to say that when we are afraid to relax the mind’s vigilance, “we tend to equate this floating with drowning and we start to flounder. In this fear, we destroy our capacity to discover ourselves in a new way. We doom ourselves to a perpetual hardening of character, which we imagine is sanity, but which comes to imprision us.”
BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintraub