New Year Now: The Moth, The Mountains, The River

Original Date: Jan 7, 2016 

Happy New Year!

The turning point of the calendar year invites us to re-assess, and realign. We reflect on the past, on mistakes and gains. We look to the future, where we hope to be.

May I ask that while you make note of the past and look to the future, that you not loose sight of the present. Find the space of NOW. How can you feel satisfied Now. Not even theoretically, but actually in this very moment. Do you sense it, the space of right now? Do you feel the breath? Do you notice the sensations of being alive? Maybe its pain, maybe its ease, whatever it is, its Now.

“Atha Yoga” opens the first line of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. Yoga happens NOW.  Ravi Ravindran states in his translation of the Sutras: “The very opening aphorism presents a challenge. It could simply be a statement placed at the beginning of the exposition of yoga. However, it is much more instructive to see in it an invitation to practice yoga always and everywhere.” (pg 3- The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras”).  Yoga happens now, not in the past or in the future, but present in each moment. Our need to obsess about the past and over plan the future is a distraction from the present moment. Yoga and meditation invite us to notice these distractions and put them aside to sit with the present moment, whatever that moment holds for us.

Our practice of yoga is just that, a practice. It is not to be over ritualized or even overthought or overworked. Use your practice to cultivate curiosity in how the body, mind, breath, and spirit dance with each other. Note the cause and effect of each action. Don’t expect today’s practice to be anything like yesterday’s or tomorrows. Yoga happens Now. Cultivate  the Now by seeking the pleasure in the small things. Seek the Joy in this one breath. Seek the Joy in the nourishment of food. Seek the Joy in the company of friends and loved ones. Seek the Joy in nature, the moth, the mountains, the river. You may find that being with Joy is the only one true act of Yoga.

Simple. Sublime. Be Present.

The Moth, The Mountains, The Rivers, 
By Mary Oliver

Who can guess the luna’s sadness who lives so
briefly? Who can guess the impatience of stone
longing to be ground down, to be part again of
something livelier? Who can imagine in what
heaviness the rivers remember their original
clarity?

Strange questions, yet I have spent worthwhile
time with them. And I suggest them to you also,
that your spirit grow in curiosity, that your life
be richer than it is, that you bow to the earth as
you feel how it actually is, that we- so cleaver, and
ambitious, and selfish, and unrestrained- are only
one design of the moving, the vivacious many.


MusingsAngie Follensbee-Hall