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Day 6, If Thinking Makes It So, So Be It January 16, 2011

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in 21-Day Challenge, Buddhism, Changing Perspectives, Donate, Fitness, Health, Karma Yoga, Mantra, Meditation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Philosophy, Science, Twin Cities, Yoga.

Day 6

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. “ – Guatama Siddharta, Buddha

Our limitations and success will be based, most often, on your expectations for ourselves. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon.” – Denis Waitley

I am constantly amazed at how the mind works. The Yoga Sutra describes the 5 ways we think: correct perception, incorrect (or mistaken) perception, imagination, deep sleep, and memories. Patanjali explains in this same section that these thoughts, or perceptions, can be afflicted or free of affliction (YS I:5 – 6). It’s more than Cogito, Ergo Sum or even Dubito, Ergo Cogito, Ergo Sum. It’s Cogito Ergo Mundo Est: I think therefore the world (my version of reality) exists.

Sometimes we find out our perception of a situation is incorrect. It can be a devastating discover. No matter how much the realization shakes us, however, we ultimate fail or succeed based on our ability to accept the truth, recover from our mistake, and keep moving. Equally fascinating is what happens when we make a decision to do something, fully commit, and – in doing so – discover that everything around us seems to adjust to make space for our commitment. The world changes, reality shifts, all because we made up our mind.

Over the last 6 days, I have settled into a routine. I’m not sure how I feel about it; other than that I am astounded at how my schedule has shifted and coalesced around my commitment to Yoga Journal’s 21-Day Challenge. I drag myself out of bed every morning; mediate for 5 minutes (or not, depending on how many times I hit the snooze); prepare for my classes by practicing 30 – 90 minutes; rush off to teach my classes; and then round off my day with the video sequence, the 18-minute So Hum mediation, and a blog entry. In between, I deal with the rest of my life – which includes dealing with the snow. It hasn’t even been a full week yet (unless you count Day 0) and every day is different, but this is the schedule that seems to work. Sometimes I consider changing it. Other times I am content to let it evolve. At all times I am committed to the process, and the challenge.

Today, Day 6, is one of those days when I considered change and, in doing so, almost faltered. By the time I got home I was exhausted – and fighting it. At some point I recognized the pointlessness of not taking a nap. Still, because I hadn’t done the video sequence for the day or the mediation, I fought my body’s desire for sleep. Needless to say, I lost that fight. I woke up much later than I would have if I had set an alarm, but I was rested. Even though I woke up and accepted the need for a nap, Part of me dreaded pulling up the video. I wasn’t sure I could handle an intense practice and definitely didn’t need anything invigorating. Something restorative, I thought, would be nice right about now.

And this is when my thought manifested itself in the form of Rebecca Urban’s 30-Minute Tension Release Hip Openers. I couldn’t have asked for a better practice – oh, wait, I did ask for it! This was no slacker practice. It combined a sublime amount of surrender, hip flexion, and hip extension with just enough intensity and challenge. And even though I’d put my hips and hamstrings through the proverbial wringer for the last two days, my whole lower body felt nurtured and encouraged.

Towards the beginning of the sequence I wondered why this practice didn’t precede the one for Hanumanasana. By the end of the practice I realized it was a sequence that could be used to integrate the body for a peak pose like Hanumanasana; it could be expanded into a longer span of time; or it could be used as the surrender portion at the end of an intense vinyasa practice. It could also be practiced as it is; and what a wonderful thing it is.

My body felt ready for Savasana. It also felt ready for the seated meditation. My mind…well, that’s a story for another day.



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