Each week of teaching my Sunrise Flow on Tuesday mornings, I plan to offer a weekly inspiration to my students. I want to share something that I find inspiring in hope of sparking inspiration in others. Each week I will also post the inspiration on my blog for my students to access if they find something attractive and also for those of you who are unable to make it to my class but may need a bit of inspiration for your week. For my first week I chose an excerpt from the book Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison.
Meditations from the Mat offers 365 days of inspiration. With 8 parts focusing on the 8-Limbed Path of Yoga. For this weeks inspiration I chose the words from Day 97 which is part of Part 2 of the book focusing on the Niyamas or The Five Observances, which is the second limb of the 8-limbed path. Day 97 reads as follows:
“Surrender to God brings perfection in samadhi – Yoga Sutras
The final niyama is isvara-pranidhana, or surrender to God. When all is said and done, we let go absolutely. I am fascinated by the fact that we have learned how to go about so many things by observing nature. It is said that we learned how to hunt by observing packs of wild dogs. What to eat and how to get it, where water is and how to find it, how to fight and how to run– all of these thing were taught to us by animal brothers and sisters better equipped than we are. The asana came to us in this manner as well.
My own spiritual journey started long before this notion occurred to me. I came to spirituality by way of human example. Yoga and some reading about Native American culture suggested an alternative, but it was only after my dog came to me as a five-month-old bundle of joy that I really began to get it, to realize that she had so much to teach me, if I would only be open to her lessons. I would take her outside and observe her ecstasy. She did not need anything– no sneakers, no scooter, no skis, no SUVS; she simply embraced the world and the world embraced her. As this idea moved from my subconscious to my consciousness, I began to consider the spiritual condition of other living beings on the planet. I began to really look at the plants and animals that surround me. What I saw was samadhi, complete absorption in the moment, through instinctive, innate faith…If you want to see what that looks like, gaze out your window. The final niyama tells us that we do not have to reinvent the wheel. We simply have to follow suit with every other living being on the planet. “
Those of you who know me or follow me on Instagram are aware of my passion for nature. Reading this passage from Meditations from the Mat really reminded me how much I have to learn from simply being in nature and observing the ability for all other living things to live in the moment. For me being in nature is so healing. After a day filled with fresh air, sunlight, beautiful plants, and majestic animals I could not be a happier girl ♥ I feel at peace with myself and my life. Useless worry and mind fluttering fades and I can just be. Pretty much every day I have at least one moment of clarity, where I look around and really take it all in. I look at the Olympic Mountains across the water, I look at the beautiful ocean so abundant with life, I see the magical arbutus trees overlooking the coast and I think “I am so blessed to be here in this place in my life, right now” and I let out a sigh of relief. I know many of you can relate with this, especially those who live on Vancouver Island. The nature we have available at our front door is one of the main reasons we live here.
By sharing this inspiration with my students I hope that ii helps to ignite their fire and passion for nature. Each week as I share my inspiration I will also give my students a weekly challenge. Along with this weeks reading I challenged my students to take their practice outside. Go outside and practice your yoga. Not just asana, go out and be in the moment. Go outside and just observe all the plants and all of the animals. See what you can learn. See what you can let go of. See the love that you can let in.
Until next week.