Super Special Practice on Superbowl Sunday
One of the great benefits of having been buried under four feet of snow this past week was the opportunity to do a nice, long, thorough practice. With hot soup on the stove, children gleefully playing with their toys, and no possibility of even opening the door to exit my house, I was able to move through each of the major pose categories, which made my body feel harmoniously energized. I even had time to do my favorite pranayama (conscious breathing) practice and to savor it all in seated meditation, which left my mind feeling calm, clear, and content. At some point on Wednesdayevening it occurred to me that we never really have enough time to investigate these latter practices during our public classes. And yet every single Hatha yoga text considers pranayama and meditation to be the most potent of yoga technologies. How is it that we’re always too busy look inwardly? Do we really stand a chance of experiencing full presence in our relationships and full engagement in our activities if we can’t even be quiet with ourselves?…
I remember taking a boat ride off the northern coast of Scotland in my adventurous early twenties to a place called the Orkney Islands. My friends and I took a tour of this beautifully preserved Neolithic village, and the main thing that stood out in my mind was when the tour guide told us that the people who inhabited this place in 3000 BC only worked 20 hours per week. Whoa. We’re talking brutally cold, relatively barren conditions in the northern latitudes, with primitive agricultural and fishing technologies, and they only needed 20 hours a week to meet all of the basic survival needs of food, shelter, and clothing. “What did they do with the rest of their time?” I asked the tour guide. “Most likely they dedicated it to spiritual pursuits,” he said, “such as building and worshiping in these temples.”
It seems like such a bummer to me that we’ve crowded our schedules to such an extent that we have no time left for this other basic human need — the search for the Self. Let’s change that tendency this Sunday by carving out a mere two hours from our week to practice what I’m calling “Timeless Yoga.” We’ll move through a well-balanced asana sequence that will energize the body and prepare it for reclined pranayama and seated meditation. The first 90 minutes will be active; the last 30 minutes will be contemplative. No guarantees will be issued for spiritual insight or revelation. But our intention will be to at least leave enough space for those experiences to possibly enter.Sign up now this special Extended Practice that will take place this Sunday, February 2 from 11:30am-1:30pm by visiting our web site or by clicking the big button below.
Oh, and don’t forget to tell friends and loved ones about our next Begin at the Beginning class with Jen Richard that will take place next Sunday, February 9 from 11:00am-12:30pm. It’s a perfect opportunity for people who have yet to follow through on their New Year’s resolution to start yoga. Hope to see you soon!