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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Setting an intention

"Always do what you are afraid to do" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sorry everyone! I've been so busy with the immersion and road tripping that I haven't had any time to write since Friday, but I'm 99% sure you all managed to survive the weekend sans my shenanigans. Boy do I have a lot to catch up on, though! First, Anusara Immersion... we'll get to the road trip eventually.

On Friday night, Ali mentioned the importance of fueling Iccha (desire) in both the head and the heart - the head gets its juice from knoweldge and certainty, and the heart from mystery and uncertainty. I know I am definitely guilty of taking care of my head more than my heart - I'm one of those people who makes an hourly schedule for my day even when they have nothing planned. Some call it anal - I call it being prepared...? Anyways, in my practice my head has a tendency to get in the way, allowing fear to creep in, and causing me to spend most of the first immersion going "OMG do I totally suck? What if I do totally suck and Ali and Ronna are just too nice to say anything? Should I even be here?? What am I doing??!?" Just lots of unnecessary anxiety. Quite similar to my first year in B-school, actually.

So when our teachers told us to set an intention for the weekend, I knew right away what mine would be. I actually had two - the first was to find a better balance between my head and heart, stop overthinking everything and just let myself be and feel in the moment. The second was no fear.

I really can't describe the weekend, and I think I just need to hold it in my head for a while, but there was really a world of difference, for me, between the first immersion and immersion 2 weekend 1. My mom says that "worrying is just suffering advance" - but I actually think it goes beyond that. Worry and anxiety can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy and often end up making the thing you're worried about even worse.

Sutra 1.2 of the yoga sutras, "yogas chitta vritti nirodaha," is often translated in the classical yoga tradition as "Yoga is the restraint of the modifications/fluctuations of the mind." But in tantra, the word 'nirodaha' is translated not as a barrier or restraint, but instead as the power to make skillful choices. Instead of stopping the vrittis, we learn how to align with the flow through our choices, saying no to the things that are not life-affirming and yes to the things that are. I know this is super cheesy but... say no to fear and judgement, so you can say yes to diving in with your whole heart.

The rythm of the body
the melody of the mind
& the harmony of the soul
create the symphony of life

B.K.S. Iyengar

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