Category Archives: Yoga

What Discernment Means

Courtesy berniesiegelmd.com

“Sometimes genuine discernment is wrongly seen as a mental decision about what is good followed by an act of will to carry out that good. I would say, rather, that discernment is the awareness of centered or not-centered energy in the organism…This awareness comes from an accumulated awareness of who we fully and genuinely are. It is knowing where our center – and hence our life – resides, as well as where it does not…As life builds up more and more sense of our total selves, more and more inclusion of body, mind, and emotion in our self-experience, it becomes less and less possible for us to choose against ourselves,….Discernment well made – that is, experience well known – makes choice natural, even easy. Choice is that decision either to retain boundaries of judgment manifested by blocked body energies or to risk letting in everything we are…In doing so we abandon predictions of how life will turn out, judgments of what is good or bad, assessments of what does or doesn’t fit. We simply live from our center.”

Suzanne Zuercher
Benedictine Sister

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Death

Shavasana is a meditation on death – lie aware and awake.
Practice being at ease with the truth of our transient existence.

Image courtesy of focusyoga.com

Edge

In yoga, we talk about “staying at your edge.”  Yoga is not a competitive sport.  We are not trying to win or to go faster.  Our body is unique and different every day, so the best approach is to remain consistently mindful and compassionate towards ourselves and others.  We work to open ourselves up with the breath and we wait for the body to invite us in.  We resist the urge to be greedy about progress.  Instead we find our edge – that place where stability and possibility hang in the balance – and we work there.  In this way, we practice being non-reactive in uncomfortable situations.  By working at our edge, we can cultivate a portable sense of ease as we journey through life, no matter how our circumstances change.  By going to the edge, we can be playful and gently curious about our future capabilities.

Why are agricultural terms used in yoga classes?

In Old English the word husband  meant “to manage” or “to be the master of” one’s household.  If the human body is a house for God’s spirit, we best manage our households well.  Rather than busily hunting and gathering, let’s settle down in one place, cultivate the breath, and gain a reliable source of life-giving energy.  Let’s learn to husband our gaze, protecting our minds from straying away, falling off cliffs, or getting eaten by wolves.  Let’s be farmers of the soul and harvest the fruits of the spirit in our lives.