Kimi Marin Yoga

Honor limitations. Transcend Boundaries.

Archive for the tag “yoga sutras”

Softening the Hard Edges

“Practice leads you in the right direction, while non-attachment allows you to continue the inner journey without getting sidetracked into the pains and pleasures along the way” – Swami J

Nohoch Mol, Mexico 2007

Nohoch Mol, Mexico 2007. Afraid of heights, this  climb brought many mental “distractions” to the surface.

In my practice, I am working to soften – to let go of the push of trying so hard. I began this in my asana practice and have found, like most things that start on the mat, to be leaking into different aspects of my life. Maybe you, too, have noticed that what you practice on the mat begins to infiltrate into different aspects of your life. To yield into the poses is to let go of the need to have to do them correctly, or have to be perfect. To yield and soften into the poses, is to trust that I am alright as I am. For each of us, to surrender to the moment and to place trust in the universe can be frightening and difficult.

The word yoga has several different interpretations: to unite, to yoke, to tie the strands of the mind together. In the second sutra, yoga is defined as “the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that duration without any distraction” (Heart of Yoga, 149). The object is our intention, our sankalpa, our desire or goal. The distractions are life: our sorrows, our joys, whether someone likes us, whether we get positive or negative feedback from a friend, co-worker, boss, or stanger. The distractions are life experiences that we often, mistakenly, wrap our feelings of self-worth around. We are happy when someone likes us and want to hide from the world when someone doesn’t.

Yoga is a way to be completely engaged in the action of your present moment knowing that life experiences are only experiences and not a reflection of your self-value. Yoga teaches us to move steadily in the direction we want to go but without the attachment to our desire or expected outcome. This is the balance between steady effort, abhyasa, and letting go, vairagya.

I am a strong believer in persistent, patience, and consistency. To reach our dreams and goals is not an all or nothing experience but a steady climb that we achieve over time. As we pay attention to our actions, as with move with steady effort, abhyasa, we see our path, where we are going and how to get to our desired end. When we see where we are going, when we take the time to notice the present moment no longer are we caught up with the pains, the joys, the sorrows of each of our experience. We can see embrace our experience as the changing opportunity for growth without attaching our worth to the outcome. This allows us to move without gripping, with detachment, with vairagya – this allows us to soften.

Nohoch Mol at the top — steady effort and letting go

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Are We Missing Focus?

I am naturally a fast eater. I am the person who has finished their salad, fries and sandwich while everyone else at the table has only touched half their sandwich. And, lately, I am eating faster. I realize that I am eating faster so I can rush to the next thing I have to do…if I am not already eating and talking, eating and typing, eating and logging in. Not only does my digestive health suffer, but so does all the other tasks that I am doing with my minimal attention. Bottom line, I have no focus…and I am not alone. Society on a whole seems to have adopted a fast-paced multi-tasking way of life that affects our ability to center on one task without distraction.  How are we supposed to accomplish anything if we don’t focus?

How many things are on your “to-do” list? How often do you tell yourself that you will call a friend or email a co-worker and then get distracted with something else equally important? Do you spend your day feeling rushed and “out of sorts”? It seems as if people are moving so fast, multi-tasking at rapid rates, yet they are not taking care of anything. Things are not accomplished with pride of a dedicated job well-done, but rather a job crossed off their list. How often have you thought “okay, I did that, now I can do this” with no stopping in between? Our lives have become unbalanced. Without focus, the ability to direct our mind upon one thing without distraction, we have no balance. Without balance we have no foundation. Without foundation we have no stability. Without stability we are easily distracted, easily winded, easily knocked over, unable to withstand confrontation, hardship, and unexpected events.

Focus is not easy. What can you do to settle down and engage completely in one activity. Pick one thing today that you will give yourself over to…whether it is washing the dishes, helping with homework, or shopping for a new pair of pants. Work to focus on the moment. Try not get on the phone, respond to a Facebook update, or change your status. When something else pops in your head that you must do, let it go, knowing that task will get your attention later. See what happens when begin to find your balance in your life. One step, one task, one breath at a time.

Enjoy Your Day!

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