In recent times, I’ve shifted my emphasis in practicing yoga from just focussing on the performance of physical postures to observing my attitude when I do asanas. Who I am and how I approach what I do is increasingly more important than performing a sequence of poses.
I still do my practice of poses, which I love, and what I try to bring to my yoga now is kindness, acceptance, and love. At this stage in my life, I find this is more satisfying than my old way of always pushing myself to do better and even competing with others.
I’ve taken to wearing a necklace with a pendant that says “LOVE”, a daily reminder for me to keep generating that quality “off the yoga mat”.
Yesterday I met Luna, a rather fat feline on a San Francisco footpath. Luna wears something around her neck, like me – a collar with a message that says: “The weight of the world is love.” I like that, even though it is a touch poetically ambiguous.
Luna reminds me of Busopher Jones, T. S. Eliot’s Cat About Town, in the way she wants to love every passer-by on Valley St.
There’s a long tradition for the practice of love in yoga through the fostering of devotion as in Bhakti, or Mehta Bhavana, loving kindness in Buddhism. The Bhagavad Gita is the consummate text for deepening our understanding of love.
The “Radiance Sutras” as presented by Lorin Roche, PhD, seem to expand beautifully on Luna the cat’s message:
“The roar of joy that sets the world in motion
Is reverberating in your body
And the space between all bodies
Find that exuberant vibration
Humming in your secret places
Streaming through the channels of delight
Rising new in every moment.
Know you are flooded by it always.”