Over the summer for some of us our routines are changed and disrupted, we might visit different places and surroundings and receive different stimulations such as tastes, smells and noise. Children are on holiday so for parents the regular day is different. We might journey to visit family and friends; summer can be full of fun but can also bring a disruption to our practice.
Now summer is coming to an end and we are in transition time again as we reflect over the last few weeks and all the faces that we met, some of us may not want to end the summer fun, whilst others may be eager just to get back to routine and back on the mat. However yoga has many forms and many practices and we should remember that it is not all about the body and the hour and half class with this teacher and that teacher. Yoga is an attitude. Giving somebody time, to sit with them, listen to them, to brighten their day can be yoga. Eating a slice of cake with your mum, even though you really don’t want the cake, you know that she does and will cherish that moment, can be yoga. Not only should our bodies become more flexible with our practice but also should our minds, actions and emotions. To live in awareness, to have awareness, as a famous poet once said; ‘To suck all the marrow out of life.’ To simply know life and make a moment profound is yoga.
So when we simply can’t get on the mat due to the demands of those that surround us, it is ok we just have to shift our awareness. We could be anywhere but to be aware of the breeze that touches your face, or the sound of a bird, or a beautiful smile that you have put on somebody’s face, is yoga. To really have awareness and to feel awareness makes us invincible; as the Bhagavad Gita describes – ‘Weapons cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, even wind cannot dry it. It is not subject to being cut, burnt, wet or dried. It is beyond time, all pervasive, immovable and immutable.’ 11.23
And when we have true awareness then we are in the yoga. Awareness the true ‘I’ is not limited by time, qualities or space, it just is, in all its joy and beauty. So as we all return back to our homes, jobs, schools or start new beginnings in new places let us shine in our beauty, in our awareness, there is nothing else to do, just sit, be still, be quiet even in noise we can be in peace if we find our awareness. All joy is there.
And if starting again after a break or for nervous children starting new schools, or classes here is a great Ayurvedic tip to reduce anxiousness. For kids, put a few drops of Mummy’s perfume on a small piece of cloth that they can smell during the day when they are feeling a little shy or overwhelmed, it will really help to relieve those nerves. This works for adults too- a few drops of essential oils onto a hanky or something to hand works a treat. Ylang ylang, lavender, chamomile and patchouli are great soothers and helps us relax.
So Yoga can be anywhere anytime, a simple smell as long as we are aware!
Om shanti shanti shanti Om
Peace to all
Mangala / Nicky.
Image above taken in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.