by Sandra Radja
Earth. Water. Fire. Air. Ether. Prana. Mind – from the gross to the most subtle the mind can penetrate all elements in this level playing field of what we call life. Our thought patterns have the ability to shift and change the energy field around us. If the prana is strong in an individual, for positive or negative, they can influence not only their own organism but others around them. The power of strength is the subtle element of drishti or focus – hard to hold onto, hard to keep steady but when you can, you can change your world.
Prana can be enhanced by the individual but also by a collective of individuals. An idea, if propelled by the pulse of the street, can spiral into a movement that can drag you along, if you don’t find yourself in a state of being self sufficient and using your own intuition for what feels right….for you. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a tangible idea.
I enter a class and the tone is set, perhaps by the strength of prana by the teacher or one or more of the students. Someone is holding the space and the first barrier I need to work out is do I want to take this on or does it feel like I will be carrying anxiety in my practice. My insecurity will be tricky to let go of and might in turn make me hold my breath in panic. I choose to place my mat….where? By whom will I feel comfortable sharing my space, and if the class is 20 students full I guess I will have no choice. A little weird, we’re really close together and I want to nod a “hello” to acknowledge their presence but there is an invisible wall between us and they are busy “prepping”. Should I be “prepping”? I didn’t have time today to clean my best pants; the ones that make me feel smooshed together where it counts. They say if you want to be the CEO start acting like the CEO, well the pants make me feel like I belong, to the movement that created the path, to a place I’ve never been (I think?) but keep getting told is better than where I am - nirvana.
Thank God, the class has started and we’re doing something.
She seems too old to be a yoga teacher, she seems too young. There is no way she’s had 3 children, he’s too cute to be straight. I wonder if her life is perfect, how long do I need to do this until I’m perfect? Let me run through the checklist again for tomorrow, she seems to be getting sweatier than me. He held that pose without flinching, I shouldn’t have had that rice cake. I need a new pair of pants if I’m going to do this more than once a week, I think these pants are becoming see- through?!
There is no-one here, just you. You can do the pose for as long as you feel or you can just lay down. It’s your altar and your created space. It’s your time and your routine. 10 minutes of concentrated effort is all you need to tune in.
A personal practice is essential to develop the daily routine of self care. A group class can be an excellent motivator but also having a personal practice created by a yoga teacher can help you to avoid injury and keep your development consistent. And if your Yoga teacher has an Ayurvedic background, they can teach you the benefits of adjusting your practise according to the season and the dosha that is affected. This is where Yoga becomes your medicine, rather than your sport.
Your created space, at first unfamiliar and awkward, will become a magnetic field that will draw you in. The more consistent you are, the easier it becomes. This is part of your step toward independence, not only in developing will power which will feed into all parts of your life but also in owning a routine that works for you at your unique stage of development.
I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul - Rumi