Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Steadiness and Ease, Yoga Sutras style

The yoga sutras encourage us to cultivate two qualities in order to master yoga. The sanskrit is sthiram and sukham, which is often translated to steadiness and ease.  Cultivating these qualities applies to the physical and internal practice of yoga poses, and can be explored in meditation, and in our lives.  It's interesting to me that some discoveries in neuroscience and psychology about attachment, human development, trauma healing and the nervous system guide us in a similar direction.  

On the physical level, steadiness refers to grounding, to finding a good foundation in the pose from the ground up. Steadiness allows us to sustain, with a quality of strength free of rigidity or force: not going against ourselves in any way.  On a more subtle level steadiness implies self connection - attentive to our minds, and connecting with our hearts, and even deeper with our values, purpose, or soul.  When we are connected with what is essential we may draw upon an innate quality of steadiness, an inner ground of being.  

Ease implies a quality of spaciousness with a kind or compassionate orientation towards our experience.  In this context, ease is about cultivating right effort in our practice - neither forceful nor lackadaisical, either of which will disengage us. Ease isn’t about avoiding;  it’s about a way of being with.  Ease also implies openness to trust our process, or trust life.  Our individual paths of trusting can be quite diverse.  Balancing and savoring the breath supports us with both steadiness and ease.  Cultivating steadiness and ease creates a physical and internal environment where joy and discovery can emerge.  

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Friday, May 27, 2022

What if

What if...

we were here to regulate our nervous systems and expand our nervous system capacity?
   self regulation
   relational regulation

we were here to heal?
   self healing
   relational healing
   ancestral healing
   collective healing

we were here to restore wholeness and connection
with ourselves,
in our families and communities,
in the natural world with humans and non-humans alike?

what if...

we were allies in learning, relating, restoring and co-creating
   even with those of us who don't believe we are, and
   even with those who are actively promoting division?

what if...

we can breathe together,
be together in curiosity and compassion?
we can move together,
shake together,
cry together,
laugh together,
feel together,
take action together?

what if...

we knew the state of our nervous systems structure our experience and perspective from moment to moment?

we learned that we can take care of our own nervous systems?

we contribute to the well-being of others' nervous systems?

we actively built nervous system coherence in the groups we already are a part of?

I wonder how that would be, and what would become possible.