Sunday, May 2, 2010

Clouds

Clouds are familiar but elusive and mysterious. From a distance they have a shape but when we are inside a cloud the rest of the world is hidden.

No two clouds are identical. The three main categories of clouds are cumulus, stratus and cirrus. Cumulus clouds are puffy, dense and tall, sometimes extending upwards hundreds of meters. Stratus clouds are more horizontal and spread out like a blanket and can extend for many kilometers across the sky. Cumulus and stratus clouds are the clouds we commonly see in the sky. Cirrus clouds are very wispy and feather-like and are composed of ice crystals. They are almost translucent and form about 7 kilometers above the earth's surface. Cirrus clouds are the highest clouds are not seen as commonly as cumulus and stratus.

Each cloud is composed of an astronomical number of nearly invisible small drops of water. Each drop of water is less than a thousandth of an inch across. A small cloud just ten yards on each side contains as many drops as there are stars in the galaxy.

Even though they are far away and untouchable, clouds greatly affect our lives. We can get an idea of the weather from their formations, they provide us with rain and relief from the hot sun, and they recycle the earth's water supply. And they capture our imagination.

Clouds are always changing. They change shape, size, direction and color. They can appear playful or dark and threatening. When a cloud touches the ground it is called fog. When clouds are in the sky they look as if they could be touched. But when they are close to us on the ground as fog, they are impossible to grasp.

Our energy bodies are like clouds, expansive and spiritual. They cannot be totally explained or understood. But we know they are there. They are connected to our physical bodies when we are alive. At death they detach from our physical bodies but continue to exist in the spiritual realm.

The practice of yoga involves our physical bodies but it can also be an expression of our energy bodies. Like clouds our poses have shape but the edges are soft, expansive and changing. Standing poses are like the cumulus clouds, very strong and tall. Reclining poses are more like the stratus clouds with a horizontal feeling. Meditation has more of the quality of cirrus clouds. Both have a feeling of lightness and detachment. Yoga helps us to feel like we are grounded in reality but our spirit is reaching for the clouds.

Clouds are a link between the earth and the heavens. We are a link between our physical form and the supreme consciousness. Allow your imagination to soar with the clouds.

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