Friday, November 30, 2012

Sadhana - V

After a weekend yoga intensive, I signed up for Sadhana with the intent to take my practice to a deeper level, to get a better understanding of pranayama, and to hopefully get a few insights into how I could be a better person.

30 days later I can say I met the first two goals. Now I question the notion of 'a better person'.... that's a 'B' person, an 'A' person.  I think I have modified this notion to 'best self'.  I'll leave the judging to someone else.

Although I still have a long way to go with shoulder stand and revolved triangle, there is no question my poses have improved.  I feel closer to inhabiting them. Marlene is an amazing teacher, very observant and deeply talented.  Her adjustments to what I was doing were incredible.  It meant a lot to me when she remarked that the difference in one of my poses was like night and day.  That's as close to a compliment that you'll get, because she sees complimenting students to be a bit self-congratulatory (not really saying the student is good but rather that your teaching is good).  But Marlene is totally remarkable. We are lucky to have a teacher at her level here in Toronto.

Every morning we started the classes with an Invocation to Patanjali, which ended with the phrase "lift your hearts, bow your head, salute the Lord within."  I confess, I spend a lot of time in my 'head', my ego in charge. I took this as a daily reminder not to worry so much about the ego, not to think so much. Just 'be'.  Not attach to the outcome, which you can't control but can only influence.  To stop seeking outward, and instead, look inward.

The Invocation is humbling, but still, I think it would be fun to start or end a yoga class with this song by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee someday.

God and man played hide-and-go-seek. 
God told man, "Now man, don't you peek." 
man counted to ten, and then looked around, 
But God was nowhere, nowhere to be found. 

Man looked on the mountain. He looked across the sea. 
He looked in the stars, in the skies, in the trees. 
He looked in the wind, in the sun, on the ground, 
But God was nowhere, nowhere to be found. 

So man made an image and he gave it a name, 
But this man-made god brought nothing but pain. 
Man started shouting "God! Where can you be?" 
"I'm right here man, inside of thee." 

Oh, man was so shocked, he was really surprised. 
'Cuz he looked everywhere, but right there inside. 
Now when man found God, man found love, 
And man found out what we all are made of. 

God is in you and God is in me. 
To love all of God is to love humanity. 
God is in you and God is in me. 
To love all of God is to love humanity. "

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