BHUMI NAMASKAR . . . Earth Salutations . . .
We've been learning Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) in our Absolute Beginners Yoga Workshops. Historically, the sequence may have evolved from honouring the sun (surya) as the source of light and energy for the world.
This week, however, we have learnt a Bhumi Namaskar (Earth Salutation) sequence as a way of turning our focus to getting ourselves 'grounded' and 'present' when we are on our mats. Of course, this applies off our mats as well.
We are all busy people. Some of us are raising a family or caring for an elderly parent (or both). Work pressure. Lack of work fullstop. Friendships to maintain and, if we're lucky, a social life. We have mortgages to pay. We have deadlines to meet. Responsibilities. There's alot of stuff going on in our lives. We are lucky in this beautiful country of ours that most of us only have (what I like to remind myself of regularly) 'first world problems'.
It is, however, very easy to let all of this stuff get on top of us. And it can be quite overwhelming at times.
Finding a way to get grounded, feel calm in the face of adversity ... cope ... can be a challenge. I invite you to use your yoga practice as a means to achieve this balance in life.
How many times have you noticed your mind wandering, perhaps whilst sitting in a work meeting or watching your child play sport, thinking about what you haven't done yet, what you should have done, what you're yet to do? If you're lucky, you'll recognise that happening and bring your mind back to the present - the here and now - knowing that you can deal with these other things later.
Most of us don't have that awareness yet. Instead, our worries manifest in a negative physical way - churning stomach, frown, headache. We basically feel like crap. And we might not even know why.
I'm suggesting to you that with a degree of 'mindfulness' - an awareness of where your head is at - can allow you to notice that your mind has wandered and give you the choice to bring it back ... to now ... to what is happening in this moment. But you need to be able to notice first.
When we are on our mats, we have the opportunity to begin to train our minds to focus on the present. Using our breath, we can start to narrow our thought patterns to concentrate on what is happening in our bodies, on our mats, right now. We can take a break from the rest of our lives for a while.
We all need a break sometimes. A rest. A pause.
Find a way, make a choice, to turn your attention to what is happening right in front of you. Notice it. Celebrate it. Allow yourself to smile when you see something that warms your heart. Laugh out loud - even when you're alone. When you're favourite song comes on the radio ... dance!
Let's celebrate our lives each moment we live them.
"Look past your thoughts so you may drink the pure nectar of this moment." Rumi