Sara Ivanhoe - yoganation - color outside the lines

I bow to the Jewel in the Lotus: Om Mani Padme Hum

The Lotus Flower grows in still water.

It is said that the mind, like the Lotus, will only come to full bloom within stillness.  In our desire to be good students, many of us increase the challenge and pace of our asana practice.  While movement is a quintessential way of releasing tension, historically the yoga tradition is a path towards meditation.  When we “get better” at yoga, we are meant to move less, not more.  As beginners, we are like the puppy; playful and bouncy.  A puppy has energy to spare- therefore there is no need for efficiency.  Most of us yogis are already spread pretty thin.  We need to conserve our energy, and place it where and when we want to.   The wise dog only makes necessary movements.  Learning how to become still on command, is a way of preserving our vital life force- and it takes practice.

It is said that the ultimate meditation position is Padmasana (Full Lotus) as its symmetry creates a balanced foundation.  As further inspiration, the bloom itself, thermo-regulates- meaning that no matter the outer climate- it retains its inner balance.  Yogasana is a practice of feeling our “one-ness” with whatever pose we invoke.  If the lotus flower literally sustains its temperature no matter the outer landscape, practicing lotus give us the opportunity to learn this important lesson.

Stillness and equanimity are fundamental components of a yoga practice.  One doesn’t need to have flexible hips or bend their knees into submission.  A simple seated posture will capture the spirit, as the legs can still represent petals.  The importance is not the shape our bodies take- but the energy with which we embody all shapes.  As the lotus takes time to grow, our appreciation of its gifts takes time as well.  While stillness may not seem outwardly impressive, it is a flower that blossoms within.

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1 comment (Add your own)

1. Meli wrote:
Thank you Sarah! I needed to read this today! :)

Sun, July 6, 2014 @ 12:35 AM

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