Thursday, September 12, 2013

Calm.


Image- "That" Japanese Maple by Jeremy Reding. Creative Commons Attribution- Share alike 2.0 Generic licence.
Day 19.
"Trying to be calm creates agitation; start with being present with your agitation.
Living Your Yoga: The residue of effort is agitation, not calmness. Today on your yoga mat, find the calmness behind the agitation your thoughts create during asana. Attach yourself to this calmness."
(A Year of Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lassater PhD., P.T)
I am yet to try the above suggestion. Yes, I did get up early this morning but I did not get on the mat. I am no stranger to effort producing agitation. I am only just coming to terms that managing Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Fatigue means being very, very gentle with myself. I am just starting to accept that I may not do asanas every day, I may not blog every day. I know I will do some form of yoga each day, whether it be reading about the philosophies behind Yoga or breathing practice or meditation because it has become an integral part of my wellbeing. The book that I have been getting the above quotes from has been a real gem, each quote that I read is an "Aha!" moment for me, a message to carry through my whole day. I also read books on Buddhism as well. This study makes me more aware of the things I can do to hopefully make the World a little bit better. ( I really believe that making a difference starts with being kind to yourself.) But it's interesting that if you apply too much effort to "being good" or "being calm" or "being" anything really, you seem to get further away from whatever it is you were trying to achieve. This is the "residue of effort that is agitation". A few days ago I read a story about the monk Sona who asked Buddha- "How should I practice?" The Lord Buddha replied "When you were younger, you were a skilled lute player, were you not? How did you tune your instrument?" Sona replied "Not too tight and not too loose." "That is the way to live your life." replied Buddha.
Yoga Asanas are the perfect way to examine trying to be calm. I know when I am doing Yoga it seems like a little war is being waged inside me. Trying to find alignment, feeling discomfort, fighting unwanted thoughts feels abrasive and not calm at all. What will be behind my agitation today? I can't wait to look for the calm!

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