Well here we go, stepping into dangerous waters again. For most of my life I have been uncomfortable with the word “God.” I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of what I’d learned as a child: that there was some guy, with a long beard and a huge chair sitting some place up in the sky, watching and judging my every move. It just didn’t work for me. Now, I know the word “GOD” is just another word for something everyone has an opinion about and about which not every one agrees. I don’t think I’ll get clobbered with a bolt of lightning for expressing that view. But if you’re like me, you need a way of thinking about the word GOD. (Okay, there, I’ve used the word three times.) Are any of us more comfortable yet? So why should this be? I think because most of us don’t want to associate ourselves with the manner in which DOGMA has made the world. RELIGION has been a real tough row to hoe for many people. I have seen it be divisive, uncompromising, withholding, controlling … you may feel the same way. I’ve also seen it be loving, all encompassing, a thing of real connection and beauty. And still I see society want to pin a label on us concerning which religion we belong to, or don’t, as the case may be.
I consider this topic to be a very personal matter. The purpose of this blog is not to proselytize. You probably get way more of that in your life than you want already. The purpose is to get happy. How you deal with this particular Niyama is really just your business and how I deal with it, you don’t need to hear.
So here is what Mr. Doran would like us to know:
Isvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual
Isvarapranidhana means “to lay all your actions at the feet of God.” It is the contemplation on God (Isvara) in order to become attuned to god and god’s will. It is the recognition that the spiritual suffuses everything and through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of the Creator. The practice requires that we set aside some time each day to recognize that there is some omnipresent force larger than ourselves that is guiding and directing the course of our lives. vii
YOGA is not a religion, contrary to what the above paragraph might suggest. Yoga is, however, based on the knowledge that we are not separate from God. In other words, Yoga doesn’t adhere to the belief that there is a guy up in the sky. During my yoga teacher certification, if you (in the midst of some difficult asana) uttered the words: OH MY GOD, the asana teacher came over to you and said: “Yes. How can I help you?” At first, we students were sort of flabbergasted. He went on to explain his philosophy: God/Guru/Self, all one and the same. Nonetheless, this is a subject not covered lightly, and not in this arena. There are many books I’d be happy to suggest if you are interested in pursuing the subject further
That being said, if you’re still reading, for today’s breathing technique I plan to go back to the basics: There is a YouTube video titled “The ABC’s of Yogic Breathing” from which I will be taking my cue.
Asana: I don’t know about you, but I was a total slug over the long weekend. My body is craving action, power, strength, and, sure, sugar. But I will NOT give it sugar, instead … I will put in as many Sun Salutations as I can handle. I will then move onto one of my all time favorites: SIDE PLANK. I just love to hold it until I fall into a quivering blob. From there, I believe Dancer Pose will be in order, and finally, an inversion and a twist. All these poses are available on youtube for your viewing pleasure.
Thank you for all who asked me to continue. It really does mean a lot to me and goes a long way toward my own happiness. If I can ever return the favor, don’t hesitate to ask.
Yours with the hope of unending happiness, c