Yoga by moonlight

I was chatting a friend over coffee today and conversation turned as often to yoga. We’re both busy with relationships, work, family, keeping well/feeling ill… the usual flow of life stuff. And for myself I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by work right now (I’m covering the essentials of my boss’s workload while he’s on extended leave).

But we agreed that whatever life is throwing our way, we don’t let it get in the way of yoga practice.

Is it that we’re both Type A personalities who have something to prove? Perhaps. But I think we’re both learning too that time on the mat isn’t time off or time wasted. It’s time invested in ourselves that makes the rest of life smoother, easier, more joyful. Just better. And we both agreed that all this good stuff applied to those around us, as we become more at ease in life.

sliver moonClass last night had something of a similar theme. My teacher started with an observation of how beautiful the moon was that night. Truly — it looked incredible, just a sliver of light, little more than a curved silvery line, but very atmospheric. And slightly mysterious. The kind of night sky that makes you really wonder what it’s all about and what’s out there in space….

But back to class: the point of this was encouraging us to remain mindful of the beauties and the joys in everyday existence.

And in asana practice we were encouraged to bring to mind the joyful things in our lives, the things we feel grateful for, to cultivate a sense of wellbeing and inner warmth. Funny that I don’t ever remember this kind of invitation before. I had always thought yoga was about neutrally experiencing what is, rather than deliberately inviting more positive feelings in during practice.

As I chewed this over back at home, Hubby told me I’m a ‘yoga snob’! Maybe. A little harsh perhaps, but that’s his spousal prerogative.

think-oppositeBut I find I’m left wondering if this is what Patañjali intended. And whether that matters. An interesting intellectual thought for me to chew on as I read more and develop my understanding. Maybe it’s a form of pratipaksha-bhavana, the cultivation of opposite thoughts?

And although I don’t like to acknowledge it I’m also left with a nagging sense that I don’t feel myself worthy of such good feelings. Which is partly the message my teacher was giving us I think, that this act of compassion to oneself is also an ongoing practice.

So so much going on in class. It completely distracted me from fretting about my diminishing budget at work. Or about my Sanskrit vocab which is echoing in my ears as exotic sounds, though the English meanings remain fugitive. Something else that’s an ongoing practice.



image sources: oppositesmoon



7 thoughts on “Yoga by moonlight

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  1. Such an inviting post. Almost feel like I am actually listening to you speak.
    Language is such a mysterious thing. I look at babies and little children communicate and they understand all languages without speaking any! Words have always fascinated me too and I find them a very sensory experience. Sometimes how a word sounds paints its meaning and when I look it up, it is close. I wonder if that’s how tiny kids also understand it.
    Energy in a primal form. Aum. Freewheeling here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, So. I’m glad you liked my words. Freewheeling thoughts are good!
    Since you told me your mother language is malayalam that’s a word that’s been rolling round my mouth. I checked how the script looks – very lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Malayalam is quite close to Sanskrit as is Marathi. Although I speak it, I have very rudimentary writing and reading skills. That’s something I would like to change… I think I deleted your comment on my post by mistake. It brought a smile to think of a fellow sadhaka dipping into ardha chandrasana to pick up something on the floor. 🙂 -so… is sonia.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I admired the moon last night over here in the states. I also love to return to Patanjali’s pratipaksha bhavanam. Thank you for writing and sharing your practice. _/\_ Namaste!

    Liked by 1 person

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