I know you’re busy. I know you probably don’t have time to read this. But indulge me. Indulge yourself.
What if you didn’t have to be busy?
What if the most exhausted person you know, wasn’t you?
What if you slowed down.
What would happen? Would your world fall apart or would the fun, the love, the happiness creep back in?
Why do we try to squeeze it all in when it is pushing out the joy?
For years I have loved yoga without really knowing why.
Why do I feel so good after yoga when other exercise, although endorphin-inducing, doesn’t give me that same buzz?
Yesterday, when looking for a quote in a book that I could relay in my yoga teaching class, I found this,
“After practicing poses for several minutes, it is a good idea to relax and feel the rebound – calmly focus on the sensations of chi (prana).” Paul Grilley
Prana is life-force and it is seen as a universal energy which flows in currents in and around the body.
Regardless of the exercise you choose you to do, it will allow the prana to flow,but yoga specifically focuses on opening the channels in the body for the prana to flow more easily and freely.
My quoted paragraph pointed to feeling the rebound and that is where yoga differs again. In yoga, we are told specifically to stop and focus inwards. How are you feeling now? What are you feeling? Focus on your breath. Just be. This is our chance to feel the rebound. We might be in child’s pose, tadasana (mountain) or savasana to do this.
Usually in the down time in-between exercises, whether it is tennis, cycling, pilates etc you are encouraged to get a drink. you might also find yourself chatting to others or picking up your phone to see messages you have missed.
What you are actually missing out on here is the rebound. The opportunity to focus inward and feel the sensations of that prana flow throughout the body. Without it, that quiet opportunity to stop and reflect, you are skipping the most important part. The part where your mind chatter stops and sensations in the body take over.
That’s when you understand the true meaning of yoga. That calm, that inner-peace that takes over and you take that feeling with you when you leave. That feeling improves relationships, improves tolerance, empathy and compassion and instills a greater joy within.
I think it is a practice however that should go beyond our asana practice, the physical practice.
In life, between juggling to-do lists, children, work commitments, social life, family, we are missing out on feeling the rebound.
Today I got up, flew around the house getting the kids and myself ready to leave the house for school and preparing for my day. I squeeze in meditation, a hot breakfast, coffee, showers and lunches and then it’s in the car. Drop first kid off, then second, then third – now to yoga. Then to the shops. I looked at my watch, oops have to race to doc’s appointment. I had an x-ray on my foot and then I picked up a parcel from the post.
I was starving so I thought I’d pit stop at home for a coffee and something to eat. I was going to head straight out again – to do errands that could be done at anytime, instead I decided to stop and feel the rebound.
Enjoy my coffee. Come down from the whirlwind of my morning and regroup for the afternoon’s activities.
It’s so important to realise that life is about enjoyment. It’s not about getting stuff done or winning because you are the most busy or exhausted.
If you think about it logically being busy and exhausted is actually the opposite to how we want to feel and yet we persist and over-schedule until we squeeze all of the enjoyment out. I know that if i schedule back to back outings on the weekend or go out too many nights in a row – fun things become drudgery.
So slow down and feel the rebound during your day.
Being busy and always moving forward will not fulfill your dreams of a joyful and content life.
Standing still is where you can enjoy all the prana, the life force, you have created in you beautiful life xx
I will leave you with a piece from the Radiance Sutras, Lorin Roche.