I learned two mantras from Adam Ballenger that I always come back when I am trying to let go of something and make room to cultivate something else.
Mantra to let go of: Om Pat Swaha Swaha Swaha
Mantra to cultivate (something specific): Namah Shivaya Namah Shivaya Namah Shivaya Namo Namaha
The changing of the year is always a time when I am reminded of this as everyone talk about setting resolutions. I have stopped making resolutions after so many years of making them and then breaking them or forgetting about them. Resolution can be defined as having a firm decision to do or not to do something. So when I break or forget about this firm decision that I resolved to do I am disappointed with myself. Now I set intentions. Intention can be defined as a course of action that one intends to follow; this gives me more flexibility and instead of having strict rules or guidelines that might be in set for a resolution an intention is more of intentional aim that guides my actions.
Last year my intention was to work on the first principle of Anusara Yoga, Open to Grace. (I wrote a blog about this 12/31/11). My intention was to open up to something bigger then myself. To trust in this bigger source of energy and give up being in control all the time and courageously stepping into this flow of Grace. Ways I did this was with meditation, journaling, asana practice, exploring nature, and getting together with like-minded individuals to go deeper with this idea. As I look back over the year I didn’t mediate every day, I didn’t remember my intention every day, I didn’t practice yoga or journal everyday (which is probably what I would have wanted if I was doing a resolution). But over the year I continued to come back again and again to creating a better relationship with a power greater then myself and I made great effort to keep an open dialog with this higher power may it be through words, movement, silence…
Since last year my intention was first principle I think this year I will focus on second principle. Since the principles build upon each other I will continue to work this first principle as I begging to cultivate second principle more and more into my everyday life. Practicing first principle is this giving up and surrendering. Taking a big breath acknowledging that I am not in control and that by trying to be in control I create more chaos in my life, so instead I will let go of and trust in the universal. (When I do this in a yoga asana class I lengthen my side bodies after surrendering with new trust in the Universal) Building onto this the second principle, muscular energy, is the invitation of what I going to bind on to. After creating the space and willingness what am I going to attach myself to in order to create more stability in my life. This can go 2 ways. I can bind onto things that will sink me and keep me feeling low and weigh me down (not what I want). Or I can choose to bind onto things that will stabilize and draw me more and more into my heart and into my truth (this is what I am after). Ways I plan to practice this is on my yoga mat binding onto the principles of alignment that keep my body feeling so well. In meditation being a little more bound to it and incorporating it into my daily life because binding to meditation ultiminately helps me stay much more calm, patient, and happy. I will also be binding onto goo interpersonal relationships, surrounding myself with people I respect, who inspire me, who share this heart longing of living in my fullest. I will continue to be bound to and support my loving husband and best friend. I will work hard at showing up for myself in my fullest and showing up for my students. I want to be bound to my own light through the choices I make and through skillful action. I want to practice the techniques, behaviors, attitudes that bind me closer to Grace. Christina Sell says when we use are discrimination and skill full action that “Grace carries us, Grace showers its blessings on us”.
“Yoga is not a path of Freedom. Yoga is a path of Exquisite Bondage” Douglas Brooks.
Douglas says this teaching on Exquisite Bondage is paradoxical. Once bound, we do experience a greater freedom but it’s often not what we imagined it would be nor is the cost quite as cheap as we might have hoped it would be.