Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A spark of divinity

"It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity."
-BKS Iyengar
Photo by The Shalom Imaginative
Sometimes, it seems like all the input in a day is visual and head centered. You know what I mean? We read cookbooks and scan screens and traffic. We have intelligent conversations about things we believe or don't believe. We watch the news, movies and videos of cats. (?)

Have you ever tried to sit still and pray after too much input? 

I knooow - it feels like a hamster is running on a wheel and churning out thoughts in my head too! 

Then, maybe something happens that wakes us up.  Maybe someone gets sick or married or dies. Maybe a song comes on the radio or a friend says they are having a really hard time and suddenly, you don't feel like your mind is racing. You've dropped down somehow, to someplace deeper. A shift from the head to the heart or to the stomach. Suddenly, you can sit still all day. Contemplating. You notice things. The sweetness of the after work ritual. The feeling of a long exhale. The taste of a fresh peach. 

Welcome. You have arrived back in your body and soul after being in what I'm calling "floaty head land". It's a technical term. I think doctors probably are going to start using it soon. 

Have you noticed this before? Being connected with your body leads to a connection with your heart and your soul. One of my friends referred to this connection when she said, "I open up to God on my yoga mat." Another friend just needs to go on a walk after a long day. People talk about runners' high and endorphins. 

For me, a place where I can stop the hamster wheel up in floaty head land is doing yoga. It brings me back to center, back to a place of openness, back into my body. One of the reasons yoga even made it to places like the US is because of a man named B.K.S. Iyengar, who passed away today. He was born in 1918 and lived in India. The quote at the beginning of this post is from him. We can thank him for encouraging women to do yoga. For prenatal yoga. For blocks and straps and other things that make yoga much easier. For teaching yoga in groups instead of just one on one. For training yoga teachers to prevent student injury. This was an influential man. 

In honor of him, I challenge you to move your body. Find your spark of divinity. Get off the hamster wheel. 

I'll see you there...