Thursday, April 1, 2010

Purnatva (perfect fullness)

Inspired by the full moon on March 29, we explored the Purnatva “perfect, fullness” in my Tuesday evening (Kula Yoga) and Wednesday morning (Flow Yoga) classes.

When I saw the full moon on the 29th I was in awe! It was so beautiful, radiant and full. As I looked at the moon I felt a connection to my own beauty, my own radiance, and my whole fullness. Purnatva often translated as “perfect fullness”. I was hesitant at first about bring up the term perfect in my yoga class, so often we think perfect means striving for the best, yet it seems always out of reach, like we aren’t quite good enough yet. I didn’t want my students to think of that. Instead I wanted them to think of perfect as perfectly content with where they are in there existence, in their life, in the moment, and in their pose. In recognition of their own perfection they fill full. Full of the divine essence that fills us all in such abundance.

I know I keep coming back to this, but it just keeps coming to mind. “Niralambaya Tejase” the last line of the Anusara invocation which means the inner sparkling brilliance of the heart that is always present. I think of this verse when I think of Purnatva. That we are so full of this inner radiance and that this radiance is always present, and as long as we do our best in whatever (life, relationships, yoga asana, meditation) then we are perfect in that moment. Maybe being perfect in that moment means not taking the full expression of the pose whether we can do it or not. Being perfect means listening with an honest compassion to our body and honoring how far we should go in a pose.

When you practice from a place of Purnatva, allow yourself feel luminous, beautiful, and full like the moon, cultivating an attitude like there is nothing lacking in this moment or any moment. When you look at the moon you see the holes and the dips and in a way those holes are the moons imperfections, but they just add to the perfectness of the moon! Without the holes, without the imperfections the moon might not be as perfect. Being perfectly whole means loving and accepting where you are in life or in your asana. You are imperfectly perfect! Just as you are, right now in this moment!

When you realize you are perfect just the way you are and that you are always full of spirit and are an expression of Grace, you feel perfect and full (Purnatva). One mantra I use when I feel like I am not perfect, not full, or I feel defeated is….”I am perfect and whole”...A simple mantra/affirmation but it helps shift my mood and energy tremendously.

Things to remember in your asana practice:
•Instead of striving for perfection in your pose connect to your inner essence and feel the fullness from within. When you practice yoga asana from this inner connection any pose you do is perfect and full.

•Remember your Divine essence; know your asanas are already perfect as they are when you honor yourself and your body.

•Have fun as you connect with your breath, your alignment, and your awareness of Niralambaya Tejase. Remember that your asanas bring beauty into the world through your artistic expression.

•When you come into an asana, allow every moment and every breath help you bring more beauty, more fullness, and more perfection into your asana. Like holding the pose is a delight because it gives you an opportunity to keep finding more beauty and fullness. Instead of coming into a pose (that might be more advanced) if it means you can only hold perfectly full for two breaths but after that you slowly begin to collapse out.

•Om: Wolfs howl at the full moon in recognition of its perfect fullness. As you Om at the end of class, allow it to be your howl recognizing your own perfect fullness.

Throughout the class I read two quotes on perfection (remember perfection is not this idea of striving for the best, but it is being perfectly content with where you are in your existence, in your life, and in your yoga pose):
•I read a chant from the Shavasya Upanishad:
“purnamada purnamidan
purnaat purnamudachyate
purnasya purnaamadaya
purnameva vashishyate"

My favorite translation:
“This is perfect, that is perfect
Perfection comes from the perfect.
Take the perfect away from the perfect,
and only the perfect remains."

•I read a poem by Dana Faulds, Perfect Emanation:
"The perfect emanation is
alive inside each one of us
right now. I'm not denying
my imperfect translation,
my stumbling fits and starts,
or my dark side.

Yet look at what is
manifesting! Witness how
the thread comes off
the spool without tangles,
how the tapestry of life
weaves itself
using me a loom."


I found wonderful information about Purnatva from Katrina's blog, Katrina is an Anusara® inspired teacher ( from Olga Rasmussen whos is a Certified Anusara® Yoga Teacher

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