Align With Your Why
When we think about what we really want, we don’t always consider what we’re willing to endure to make it happen. In fact, the seemingly insurmountable challenges that inevitably arise along the way force us to prove our commitment to the path. Life likes to test our resolve. If the why behind our efforts is not compelling enough, we might not find the strength to see it through.
The Space to Feel
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines asana, or posture, as both steady and easeful. The third step on the eightfold path towards Self-realization, sutra 2.46 originally described the seat for meditation; it should provide a structure to support the practice, but should also be comfortable so as not to contribute to the mind’s penchant for distraction. Within the context of modern yoga, sthira sukham asanam applies to the full spectrum of postures and invites the practitioner to find a balance between effort and ease.
Isn’t it funny (and sad) how certain rituals that once shaped who we were and how we saw the world can completely disappear from our lives? I used to paint. I worked mainly with oil, but I also loved watercolor, charcoal and pastels. I didn’t make a lot of original art; painting was really a form of meditation and relaxation for me more so than an outlet for self-expression. I liked to copy photographs (which I guess, through my eyes, was original art) or the works of other artists. Even if I was just doodling on a scrap piece of paper, art consumed my soul. My creativity has expanded in different ways over the years—cooking, arranging flowers, and creating my home have taken the place of my paintbrush, but I have to admit, I miss making art.
Rodney Yee defines discipline as being a disciple of something. His teacher, Ramanand Patel, says that the traditional idea of discipline is an imposition on the mind, arguing that it’s impossible to force the mind to do anything. “If you want proof, close your eyes and don’t think of a black cat!” Ramanand suggests that rather than trying to be disciplined, we should devote ourselves to something meaningful.