Yoga Rock Stars
Balance (between the physical and the energetic self)
In every Asana, (Yoga pose) you practice, you encounter the principles of mastering your physical form while simultaneously expanding energetically. For example, when you practice a balancing pose, you certainly need strength to stand on one leg, but energetically you realize that it is completely effortless if you focus your mind on your breath. Focusing upon your breath as it flows through your body as your breath expands every molecule, every cell, and every fiber of your being, allows for effortless evolution. Eventually you come to realize, breath is the “bridge” between the manifestation of the physical self and the energetic self. When you delve into the practice of Yoga, you experience much enjoyment because your physical form begins to feel expansive, renewed, and alive.
When you master this state, you realize that balancing is merely harmonizing body and mind. The same experience translates into everyday Life. When situations become stagnant, stale, muddied, difficult, it is because your mind got stuck, stuck with a feeling, an idea, a situation, a way of life that no longer serves you; you are no longer in harmony with yourself, because you have “lost your breath” in a way. You no longer flow in harmony with creation. You follow ideas that are out of alignment, therefore you feel pain.
It is a very easy mechanism that the Absolute, the Infinite, the One, God, put in place for us: We feel great when we are in alignment with creation and in alignment with who we really are; we feel bad, we feel pain, when we are out of alignment. Yoga has the ability to connect you with your true self simply by coordinating the physical self with the mental self to create a harmonious state. In day to day life, people who feel out of alignment may think that this is “normal” and accept it for what it is. I have observed my students, friends, family members and even strangers, and have found, balance is one of the most “out of alignment” components of human existence.
When you start practicing Yoga, it takes you from that hour, those minutes, that moment in time, to a place where you become ONE with yourself, with God, with the Infinite. Your awareness shifts from “the outside world”, into your body, towards conscious breath, towards an awareness that is focused upon only YOU.
The real balancing act is not represented by all those beautiful poses we inherited from our teachers. The real balancing act occurs within YOU. The Asanas (the poses we practice) are bridges that connect our physical self with our energetic self to create a transformation for the Self, an expansion of the individual I-AM, the God form that each of us is. The physical form can be used like a tool to give the energetic self the experience to expand. Yoga can be used as a vehicle to transport you to that place where the transformation happens.
Flexibility (adapting to new ideas)
Flexibility in your body occurs when you allow your mind to expand to new ideas and concepts. I have always found that when I mastered a pose, it reflected directly into my daily Life. After each mastery I opened up much more easily to new ideas and concepts. I became less and less afraid to face new challenges. Yoga means Union, and it is literally that - Union with you and Union with everything around you. Body & Mind are always connected. Your mind expands, your body reacts; your body expands, and your mind reacts.
Strength (stay grounded, connected to all that is)
Physical, Mental and Spiritual Strength are beautiful attributes to have when you face life challenges. I recently had an experience in my own life where I lost many personal possessions due to a fire in my condo. It left me breathless for 40 days. The only familiarity I had was my Yoga practice. Whenever I returned to the studio and practiced my Asanas, I felt at home. Through Yoga, in time I felt that I could take on anything and I knew that I would make it through those challenging moments. Practicing Yoga during those 40 days gave me strength to carry on, it taught me to expand to new ideas and it gave me a sense of balance to find my center again.
Coordination (multi-dimensional expansion)
Practicing Yoga “Coordination” by choosing a certain sequence of Asanas, can make it feel as though you are “juggling” the universe. In actuality you are doing just that. Many different parts of the body must be coordinated in order to achieve a balancing state that you must be strong enough to hold but must also flexible enough to be able to expand and breathe deeply all at the same time.
True to life, during the course of the day we must coordinate a myraid of different things in order to arrive at a state of satisfaction. I have found from personal experience that during Yoga meditation, if I focus my attention on coordinating my arms, legs, torso, head, all my ligaments, muscles in tandem with my breath, I can arrive at a state of meditation, a moment where everything comes together and achieving balance becomes effortless. I like to translate this experience into my daily Life, into my business, into my relationships, into everything I do. When you set your focus on your breath, and you coordinate your body into a specific pose, it feels like you are orchestrating a tiny universe into a single point of focus and in that moment, stillness, God like perfection is reflected within that moment.
Endurance (will power, determination)
In Yoga terms, Endurance translates into Will Power and Determination - the Will Power to push through a pose, and the Determination to avoid giving up half-way through the session. Will Power and Determination are what enable one to endure the suffering and the pain that follows from transforming the body and the mind, enabling you to become more like the person you were meant to be. And as we undergo transformation through Yoga, our inner energy begins to shine through brighter and brigher each time. When it comes to Will Power and Determination, we become masters.
Sometimes I try to achieve a Yoga position as many as 30 times in a single day, unsuccessfully. Sometimes I have to leave it alone for a while and come back to it later, but I never just give up or walk away from it altogether. This also translates into my daily Life. I might not be successful with a project or a task the first time I try, it may take several attempts, maybe sometimes over a period of even weeks or months, but I never give up until I master the desired project. I would add that Will Power and Determination are assisted by a dose of Desire and Great Imagination. It is important to learn to visualize within yourself, the ability to accomplish anything you put your mind to, and to avoid limiting yourself. That way creation will always expand itself through you.