How Free are you on your Mat?
How does your yoga practice feel you free in your body, mind, breath and soul?
Let’s celebrate “Independence” in your own yoga practice on the occasion of Independence Day, 15th August.
Henceforth, if you stuck in a physical goal on your mat, or off the mat, can you please let it go. No matter the kind of yoga you practice, it’s all about your journey of inner independence. The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationship.
This date carries a history of devastation and war against the ages of foreign governance in India. It is also a history of determined struggle, will-power and strength of a nation that believes in the ultimate freedom. We at BMS Yoga Studio gathered in celebration to understand this freedom which is also the basis of our yoga teaching principles.
Being your mentor, I would love to encourage you all to reflect on elements of freedom in your yoga practice today as a part of your Independence Day Activities. Many of us want to “get flexible” or come in shape. If you stuck to your practice beyond a few sessions, you open yourselves that the yoga is beyond the physical body. The asanas are meant to help us align and focus internally. The practice of asana makes our bodies fit vessels for every unforeseen circumstances.
“Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.” – Indra Devi.
Our country has great significance of concept “ahimsha” or non-violence in the context of the nation’s freedom struggle. The same idea has been imparted to the Yogis through yogic text YAMAS. The first principle is Ahimsa- which is a state of mind without enmity, and respect of others. The Gandhian ideology of non-violence, “swaraj” or self-rule is direct application of Ahimsa in freedom struggle.
Practice “Ahimsa” on the Mat, which will be reflected (Off the Mat) to every creature you meet. Awareness in Your Postures and Breath can be best experience of Ahimsa observation On the Mat. The next time you go to class, think about practicing non-violence. While coming into the posture or going out of the posture, analyse your yogic breathing. The fullness of your inhales and exhales will begin to focus your thoughts. Observe these thoughts:-
Are they harmful in any way?
Do you have ill will towards someone?
Maybe towards yourself?
Is the breath full of negativities?
Inhale good thoughts, and exhale to let go.
As you begin to move in your practice, think about ahimsa in terms of your postures. Notice if anything is not serving you today, and remove it from your flow for now at-least. Also notice if you are feeling breathlessness or giddy. It’s okay to rest. Come to Child’s pose or Shavasana instead of forcing it. Treating your body with the love and respect it deserves will translate to a genuine happy glow that will be noticed and reflected by everyone you come into contact with. And that is the true essence of ahimsa OFF the Mat.
Ahimsa, translated to “non-violence” is one of the Yamas or restraints that make up the most basic of all spiritual practices. These restraints are purifying, and eliminate all negative influences on others and the environment. In this case, non-violence means more than avoiding physical harm to others.
As yogis and yoginis, we have a special responsibility to uphold complete harmlessness in all our thoughts, words, and actions. Not only towards others, but towards ourselves.
Happy Independence Day