“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
~ Emily Dickinson
The art and act of living is complex and consuming. When we get caught up in the details it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, of who and what we really are, the living miracle of stardust wrapped in skin. It’s easy to miss the existent mystery of bodies and breath, each moment. Of the earth taking form, given life, walking and talking as us.
This is not just a poetic concept or a nice idea. We are of the earth. The molecules of your body, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus…. are the same as in the soil and the mountains, and all living creatures. The atoms that compose these molecules were born in dying stars, connecting you directly to the whole universe. This is not something to believe, it’s science.
Realising your innate connection to the earth and all life offers a powerful opportunity for healing, both personally and collectively from the feelings of isolation and separation. These teachings are held in many forms, from indigenous peoples the world over, Mother Earth, Father sky. How did they know these things without the hardware, technologies and information we have today? They looked within.
Within the living miracle of your body is the only place we can find these innate truths for ourselves, the only place where conceptual understanding can become experience. This commonality with earth and life is contained within bones and skin, organs and breath. Within you the living dance of earth, water, fire, and air, manifest each moment as sensation, emotion, energy, mind and more.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of modern living; to obtain, achieve and control as much as possible, without stopping to think about the cost. In the desire to control life we separate ourselves from it, in this act of stepping away, we step away from ourselves and our natural instinct for living. This disconnection from the earth cuts us off from our very roots, it is this wound of separation that we are trying to fill with food, money power or whatever flavour of distraction you prefer.
Yoga offers us tools and practises to re-awaken our connection to ourselves through the body and the breath. By re-tuning our internal awareness, and connecting deeply with ourselves as life, we begin to discover for ourselves this underlying interconnectedness. These practices offers us a doorway back into a direct relationship with life itself.
The framework of the elements, known in yoga as Tattwas, show us the building blocks of nature: earth, water, fire air and space. By experiencing how they combine or clash, in our inner life and in the world around us, we can use this understanding to create harmony in our lives. Through active participation in our elemental nature we can consciously collaborate in the creation of balance within ourselves and our small orbit of influence
The koshas (layers/sheaths) , from yoga physiology give us another way of experiencing and understanding our multidimensional human experience. There are 5 Koshas; physical, energy, mental, psychic and bliss bodies, enclosing our pure essence of divine ‘I am’. Investigation of the layers within helps us see ourselves more clearly, see where we get stuck and how we can shift energy and attention when needed.
The cure for our modern endemic of anxiety and depression is not in denying our feelings, and getting on with the business of living, but rather in stepping in to see what our feelings have to teach us. Understanding Yogic physiology can act as a key to navigate these inner realms that without guidance can be overwhelming. Through practical application these teachings can lead us into a deeper relationship with our true self. It is only when we feel safe within ourselves that we can extend that peace out into our relationships, developing a sense of intimacy and connection with the world around us.
To live is no small matter, you are embodied consciousness, earth and stardust, multidimensional living loving intelligence. You are the latest model of universal hardware hard wired for life. You are magic and mystery manifest, it’s time to let yourself feel it all.
If you would like to study these concepts further join me for January 2018 Living Matters Yoga Series, Elemental yoga and the layers of Being. This is a one time event and will be my only offering before I head to India for February and March to dive even deeper into my own studies and practise.