Natural Health magazine September issue 2016 // 5 best asanas for stress " GO with the FLOW "
I was asked to write an essay about my practice by Yoga magazine. The article was published on their blog on 5th October 2014.
A reflection on Sadhana - practising from Inside out
I must admit I did all I could to avoid writing this. Not because I cannot but because where do you start? How do you talk about that which the mind cannot hold as it is too vast and goes beyond words?
Sunday evening, after 9pm , sitting, just sitting, images of today, yesterday and the potential tomorrow dancing on the inner stage in front of my minds eye. A good entertainment for a moment or two until it soon becomes disinteresting. Then a deep breath comes and washes everything away. I find myself back in the body again. Feels good. I can feel my ribs, my vertebras, my lungs, the muscles embracing the chest cavity – feels alive, fresh and rich. Subtle movements start arising like small waves rippling internally creating a flow, a movement coming from deep within so I close my eyes and follow those ripples. I have learnt over the years that they take me to places.
And so, a practice has begun. I don’t know where it is going to but I can feel where it is coming from and that is enough for me. In fact that feeling and knowing of “where it is coming from” has become more important to me then the knowing of where it is “going to”. Interesting things are taking place on the mat these days. The more I practice the less the external movements become and the deeper the internal shifts are. A single, miniature fraction of a movement in any part of the body has the power to create a rupture of pranic flow that affects the whole body, the whole entire system on all levels of existence – physical, ethereal, mental, emotional. All of it, affected by one singe thing. Like in the eco system – you move one thing and it affects the rest. Like in the cosmos – one planet shifts its gravitational pull and it affects an entire galaxy, the entire universe.
That tiny fracture of movement – what makes it happen? Where does it come from? What is its origin? What gives it birth? Is it the mind? Is it the breath? Is the knowledge we gather from books? Is it the voice of the teacher we hear echoing in us when we practice? What is it that makes it all happen? Why does it happen?
Why did the deep breath come to me, why did the ripples in the body began what made them come. Where do they come from?
The more and more I wonder amongst these questions the more and more I find myself looking internally, deeper and deeper and the more I look the less concreteness I find and the more vastness arises. I find myself going from a dense jungle like forest of questions to a vast open space that has no boundaries. In that vastness the need for answers dissolves. And that vastness has me in awe. It tickles me, it makes me giggle like a child, and then, it makes me stand still so still and stable that I can’t explain.
A sense of inner anchor emerges without a specific point of reference, specific spot or specific place. Just a timeless, placeless, boundless anchor from where it all comes from and to where it all goes back to.
Fascinating journeys. A single movement becomes a fascinating journey and discovery of Totality.
As the body unfolds in shapes and forms and draws its poetry in the air, the alignment becomes no longer book bound or muscle and tissue bound but it becomes anchor bound. It arises from that vastness, flourishes and then dissolves leaving nothing else but vastness again. And in the midst of this, an astonishing thing happens, a sense of freedom explodes in the being, in everything that I am and that I am not – freedom comes.
If we allow ourselves for a moment to suspend all ideas and structures and simply believe that we are in essence the expression of Divine Grace then it will come easy to understand and experience this Totality and to really feel It, breath It be It.
Then the unfolding of a movement, the unfolding of a Sadhana – be it an asana or pranayama or any other aspect of a yoga practice, becomes a practice of being Grace. A practice of being our true selves. The moment we go inside is the moment when we reach the Infinite and connect. This deeply intimate and yet completely universal phenomena, brings a true authentic inner alignment with life. That practice of being aligned with life and standing still and just being, existing from this boundless anchor is The Practice.
When a Sadhana takes place on the mat or off the mat the whole Universe, the whole creation of life is practicing, not only you or me, therefore practice we must. Life experiencing life itself.
All is there. I mean all is Here – inside you.
Hari Om Tat Sat
60 seconds interview for YOGAMAGAZINE February 2014 issue