The Guru in You
One of my teachers, Don Stapleton, points out in his book Self-Awakening Yoga that so often in our yoga practice, we are looking outside of ourselves for wisdom and guidance. While seeking the assistance of teachers or gurus is often a necessary step to beginning the journey of Yoga, Stapleton advises us not to stop there.
From his experience, he believes that there is an innate ability within each of us to tap into our own inner wisdom, a way to connect directly to the source of movement without the need for external guidance. While a guided asana practice in a group class can be exhilarating, a private, personal practice can be especially empowering.
In order to connect with your own inner wisdom try the following exercise:
Lie down as if in corpse pose.
Become aware of your body, noticing any sensations that are occurring in this moment. (For example, you may notice your pulse, the movement of your breath, a tightness in your left shoulder, a tingling in your right toe).
Allow yourself to experience your body in its natural state.
Suggest to your rational mind that it is okay to let go. Give yourself permission to move freely, without judgment and without the need to control or direct the movement.
Connect with your breath, moving from the navel center, and following it as it ripples out from the center of your being to the periphery. Feel the breath expand from your core to your fingers, from the core to your toes, and so on, until your entire body is filled with the rhythm of your breath.
Allow the breath to incite some movement in the body as it fills and expands. Let the movement be simple at first, (a fluttering in the fingers, a rolling of the head and neck).
Continue to allow the breath to direct the movement as it grows, becoming increasingly complex.
Following the direction of your breath, allowing the logical mind to stay relaxed and passively observant. Continue to move as the breath allows, letting yourself be moved.
Continue for as long as the breath inspires you.
As your body is returned to stillness, again take in any sensations that are occurring in the body now. Allow yourself to receive and integrate the wisdom created from this personal experience.
Enjoy the afterglow.
posted by Dana Goeglein