Think about your shoulders, perhaps think about where they are in relationship to your torso or your arms …try to relax your shoulders, soften into them…now become aware of your shoulders. What do you notice?
I did this simple practice, based on Swami Nirmalananda’s January contemplation article, “Relaxation and More,” with meditators in my weekly Satsang. They were amazed at the differences between thinking, relaxing and being aware. One person said that when he became aware of his shoulders he became aware of an expanded sense not only of his shoulders, but of his whole body. He was present in his body in a wholly different way.
As Swamiji says in the article, our Guided Awareness is not a body inventory or analysis. It’s not a thought practice, or even a relaxation practice. It is a consciousness-practice, a training in consciousness, a training in pure awareness.
That is the Svaroopa® difference: whether it’s poses or breathing or chanting or meditation, it’s a consciousness practice, a training in consciousness. Whether you are a teacher or student, Svaroopa® Yoga and Meditation draws you inward, enabling you to experience your body and mind in a wholly different way —an embodied way. If you’re a teacher, the courses you’ve taken prepare you to work with other’s bodies and minds, while you gain a deep experiential knowledge of your own. If you’re a student, you receive the benefits of your teacher’s training as you deepen your personal practice.
The Svaroopa® Sciences underscore yoga’s promise, that as your body becomes still and at ease, as your mind begins to quiet, as you become more aware, there is, as Swamiji’s article points out, “a tangible opening to something more, something greater, something more core to your being, something more essential – an opening to the something that is called your Essence. It’s called svaroopa, your own Self.”
While I receive so much from teaching both poses and meditation, and from my continuing teacher education, I continually crave that “something more, something greater.” I know I need to immerse myself on a more personal level more often! So this year I have planned for both professional training and immersion courses. My students will benefit from what I’ll learn in the teacher training course. I will blossom into my own Essence with the immersion course, and of course, my students will benefit from this as well! It adds more expense to the budget, but as the classic cosmetic company tagline says, do it “because you’re worth it.” I’d change that tagline to capitalize You — the larger sense of your own Self is worth every penny!
Whether you are a teacher or student, consider the investment you will make in your Self this year. As Swamiji says, “consider how you will cultivate a new way of living with your mind and living in your body as well as sharing the light of your own divinity with those you care about the most.”
There are Shaktipat retreats and week-long Yoga and Meditation retreats on the 2014 Calendar, as well as phone courses and related retreats. Help yourself to a larger serving of Grace this year, because You’re worth it!