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Asana – The Physical Act of Storytelling

Yoga asnaa

In an incredible podcast that was recommended to me recently, the host said these words, “physical act of storytelling”. I immediately thought of asanas, the physical postures of yoga. It may come as no surprise that I share with you that they were talking about shapeshifting.  And that is exactly what we do in asanas, shift our shape!

I find it amazing that we get to go through this dance of creation and destruction in our physical practice to end in rest.  A deep Spiritual rest that returns us to our Self, our Highest Self.

We breathe and move our way, like a slow migration, shifting the stories, and getting to the knowing of who we truly are. This kind of knowing is not of the cerebral kind, it’s of the deep, resonant understanding in our marrow and Spiritual Heart. 

We move to deconstruct and process experiences and past events. We move to listen to what the body is sharing with us about our current circumstances. We move to reinvigorate that which is hopeful and alive within us! 

“There is a place in each of us that knows everything.”

– Kim Chestney, ‘Radical Intuition’ 

 

This is a courageous act, to move the stories within us. And it can be an exhausting journey.  The rest is needed, not just for yourself, but for all of humanity.  

As you, in the singular, allow yourself to rest and receive the gifts from your efforts, you heal.  From that healing, generational past and future healing is happening. From your time of rest when peace is experienced, that peace vibration ripples to all others. 

When you move, you are not only moving your stories, but you are also moving the currents of life within and around you, beyond space and time. 

So when you rest, you are resting for all Beings, all creatures, all of space-time, all generations, and your Self.  

If this sounds daunting, dear Reader, take a breath and rest. 

“I don’t know how to dive in and take the plunge,” she told her friend. “Maybe it’s time to sit still and let the waves wash over you,” came the answer. Her eyes filled with tears and she knew it was true. It was time to just release and feel.”
-Terri St. Cloud, Bone Sigh Arts

 

Feel your ‘knowing’ Dear One. 

Feel into that place within you that knows everything. 

The home of your Intuitive Guidance.

The beacon of your compass Heart. 

The ocean of your eternal Self. 

The Light of Knowledge within.

 

Feel and dance into the jñāna, “knowledge”, and ‘knowing’ of your Divine self. Rest and feel.  Rest and Be.  Rest and Be One with all things, because you are all things.

Trust the “deep sleep under the spell of Spiritual meditation,” the yoga nidra, your awakened state of knowing the Beyond, the Divine, within you. Connected and free. Liberated…

There are many paths that lead to ‘moksha’, or liberation.  One is jñāna yoga.  If you’re reading this right now, you might just consider yourself a jñāna yogi.

Why? Because you self-reflect, you ask the questions, and you are a seeker of the knowledge; you are a seeker of self-realization. You ask the eternal question, “who am I”? Who am I beyond the flesh and form; who am I beyond time; who am I?

“The idea of jñāna centers on a cognitive event which is recognized when experienced. It is knowledge inseparable from the total experience of reality, especially a total or divine reality (Brahman).” -wikipedia  

{Ajñāna is its antonym, ‘ignorance’.}

In Tibetan Buddhism, jñāna (Tibetan: ye shes) refers to pure awareness that is free of conceptual encumbrances, and is contrasted with vijñana, which is a moment of ‘divided knowing’.

-Wikipedia 

Who am I?  My suggestion, move. 

Do some asana, and feel.

Then rest. 

In that resting, open to receive the vast ocean of gifts.

 

“The ocean becomes the bed of the lotus-naveled Vishnu when at the termination of every yuga, that deity of immeasurable power enjoys yoga nidra, the deep sleep under the spell of spiritual meditation.”
-Mahabharata, Book 1, Section XXI

 

Even the deity of Vishnu, the pervader, the deity of preservation and protection, the deity of transforming the universe and sending an avatar to the earth to restore peaceful and beautiful balance and to protect the Dharma, even he enjoyed rest.  Even after the end of every yuga, which are ages of time, generations, cycles of creation and destruction! 

You are Vishnu embodied on the mat, transformer and shifting shapes.
Your practice is an entire yuga; creation and destruction.
Your savasana(corpse pose), the deep spiritual sleep.

The second part of John O’Donoghue’s beautiful poem, ‘ for one who is exhausted’ supports all these sentiments; move, be still, feel, return to Heart, return to your Self:

 

“You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

 

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

 

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

 

Imitate the habit of Twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

 

Draw alongside the silence of stone 

until it’s calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

 

Stay clear of those vexed and spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

 

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.”

 

All my love from the mat this week,

Shawna 

Breathe and Believe.

P.S. In alignment with yoga nidra and this theme of the week, the peak pose for my classes was yoganidrasana, the posture of Yogic sleep.  Here, I am in Yoganidrasana.  

Photo was taken by Wil Adamy.



Yoga asnaa