Saturday, January 23, 2010

Inner Awareness

Deep inside each of us is a quiet, calm center. For many of us, it lies buried like a forgotten treasure. Instead we seek the treasures on the outside that may or may not be attainable.

Our senses pull us in many directions. Interesting sights, sounds, smells, tactile objects and savory palettes are difficult to ignore. We often live in chaos amid these distractions. We become unaware of who we really are, what we really want and what we truly need.

Life in the 21st century is spent in front of computers, in front of TVs, on cell phones, driving in cars and eating fast food. We are so far from our center, it is like we are in outer space.

Essentially we are out of balance. What can we do to find time to relax and go inward? To come into balance we need to find time to slow down. Take time to enjoy nature. Spend time contemplating a flower. Look deeply into a friend's eyes. Listen to your body. If it is telling you to stop or slow down, don't ignore those messages.

Yoga can bring us into balance unless we treat yoga as some form of competition with ourselves or others. If we practice with awareness and sensitivity, every time on the mat can bring inner awareness. Just focusing on the breath quiets the mind. When our mind is quiet, we can listen to our body. We can feel the peace of our calm center. We can learn to let go of self-criticism.

Bring the lessons from yoga off your mat and into your life. This is the real purpose of yoga - becoming aware of our inner nature. Notice your habits, your posture, your internal chatter. Does it serve you well? Or do you keep repeating the same negative patterns mindlessly? Move with intention and open new pathways creating positive habits.

The calm center within is full of mystery and beauty that is familiar and safe. We can know ourselves but there is always more to discover. Believe in your divine right to feel peace and contentment. We can't always escape the chaos, but we can make it a habit to visit our inner sanctuary.

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