Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Body-Mind-Emotion-Spirit = Yoga

So I was thinking about this the other day during my yogasana practice. I'll share it with you.

Imagine for a moment you're going into a yoga pose - it can be any pose - let's just say it's Triangle pose. You've done triangle pose a billion times right? So put yourself in triangle pose.

Ok here we go:

Stand on your mat
Legs wide
Right foot turned out.
Left foot turned in a bit.
Right thigh externally rotated
Keep right big toe pushing down and moving forward.
Put right hand on block
Keep pressure back on left heel.

Yada yada yada.... You know the drill - Triangle pose.

Now - you're in the pose - and here's where it starts to get interesting - this is the place where the YOGA really starts to come into play.

You start "thinking." The mind starts to get active.

Your mind starts talking to you. It may say anything including things like....

"Man this feels kinda crappy today"
"Ouch my inner hamstring is so tight"
"Ugh my back is sore today"
"I wish I could go lower in the pose like...(famous yogi)...can"

blah blah blah blah.... the mind talks - it basically babbles. Sometimes it gets agitated, critical, angry, impatient or fearful in it's talking - but it talks - that's for sure! It can't be avoided.

What happens next?

The emotions get stirred as a result of the internal dialogue. If the mind starts to say to you "This feels crappy today, I'm stiff, I'm sore, I really am not good at this." - Then, the emotions start to get stirred and a "feeling" starts getting washed across the body. This, by the way, is an actual chemical response to the thoughts as neuro-peptides are released throughout the nervous system from the brain. These "thought-feeling" molecules start moving through the body.

STOP HERE! This is the moment of YOGA! This moment is when BODY-MIND-EMOTION all become ONE. At this exact moment - when the mind is about to "take you out" - is when you want to drop into the experience a little deeper. Go through one more sheath. The mind is about to have you miss the experience of "Self." The mind wants you to listen to it's babble by releasing the "thought-emotion" molecules.

It is at this exact moment of time - when the mind creates the emotion- that you want to STOP and find the SELF. As soon as you feel the "emotion" - is when you need to control your response and look for the SELF - it's right there! So, so close!

This is the exact moment of time that is spoken about in all the Ancient texts - like the Bhagavad-Gita. This is the moment where you have the opportunity to become Master of your senses, and thus a true Yogi. This is the moment that is spoken of in the Yoga Sutras. The moment when the effort to perform the pose becomes effortless and the infinite being within is recognized.

The Self, the Spirit, the Atman, the essential Essence of who you are - can only be recognized when all three (Body/Mind/Emotion) are merged into one - and the practitioner realizes that he/she is none of those things - but is rather the essence that moves through, that sees through, that feels through these instruments of Body, Mind and Emotion.

This is Yoga. That's my experience of standing in Trikonasana pose (triangle pose). Experiencing the inner essence within that animates the body, mind and emotions. Then, as the Yoga Sutras say - the yogi is no longer affected by dualities. You become free.

Cool stuff - and you'll probably get a good inner-hamstring stretch at the same time!

Namaste - Jim

1 comment:

Corrie Lenn said...

I thought yoga was just to look good in skinny jeans? ;) GREAT post. Thank you for taking the time and energy to pass on to others!!

Namaste y'all,