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Yoga, Sensitivity and Intention

12 November 2013

As we fast approach the Holiday Season, it seems as though no matter how much we try to avoid it, stress inevitably will rear its ugly head.  With awareness and sensitivity it will be obvious when it is happening to you.  Once its onset is recognized we can employ the proper tools to handle it.

By taking just a few minutes to go inward and be attentive to your breath will almost immediately give you the space to open to a new perspective. This will help remind you that all of your stress is a matter of choice. You will undoubtedly realize that it’s rare that you can change the causes of my stress, but you can almost always influence your reaction to it.  It is good to know that you have the potential to completely control your reaction to any given situation (stressful or otherwise).  When you are successful in changing your reaction to small stresses, which originate from sources that are out of your control, you’ll know that you also have the potential to do the same thing with bigger stresses.

Whenever you open to your own potential you’ll gain a feeling of empowerment. This works as a reminder that you have choices. You’ll also discover insights that lead to finding the gifts within each appropriate choice you make.

Whether we realize it or not, we all live in a world of infinite potential. We have the ability to make a conscious choice to believe that anything is possible. If we do that we will likely find it to be a very effective way to live. Naturally, we’re all well aware that at times life is hard and there is nothing we can do about it.  But once we have acknowledged that, we can then choose to move forward and focus on what we can do, what we can change, and what I can gain from any given situation. The yogis refer to life as the “ananda tandava” (the dance of bliss). We too can create this experience in our lives by remaining focused on the good, enabling our potential and discovering our opportunities.

We are becoming aware that being overly or excessive positive in our thinking doesn’t necessarily produce guaranteed or magical results. Too many people have mistakenly oversimplified this practice by taking out all the gray areas and have since become disillusioned. So it’s necessary to come to grips with the fact that our thoughts alone do not “create” our circumstances. However, our thoughts do create our reactions to our circumstances and that in turn influences many things in a very real and often physical way.

Sensitivity and Intention Yield a Balanced Yoga Practice

And, practicing yoga with sensitivity and intention will lead to a balanced life.  But, always start first by intending to become more sensitive. Without sufficient sensitivity, there is no way to react appropriately to situations encountered in life. Very few of us are born with this level of sensitivity, but yoga can give you a taste of what it is like to live life with more sensitivity and you’ll be amazed as it develops through your intentions.

Intentions come from our deepest longings and desires. Many spiritual traditions teach that desire (per se) is the root cause of all suffering. And this makes absolute sense when we are talking about shallow or secular desires. However, when desire is “spiritualized” it can be the cause of movement, growth and spiritual maturity. So, in reality, it is not about eliminating all desire, but rather staying sensitive enough to discover what our deepest spiritual desires are. Spiritualized desires are the ones that bring us closer to others, the world around and all that we consider Divine, rather than separating us. This would include the desire to serve, the desire to discover our gifts and use them, and of course, the desire to know God.

Even these deeper, spiritual desires can be dangerous; can lead us into suffering as easily as into bliss. When we become anxious, impatient or try to rush the process of spiritual evolution we tend to sabotage our original intention. Once again, it’s our ability to be sensitive that reveals the wisdom to know the difference. In yoga, this is a balanced action, so resist thinking of it as a static place; think of it instead as a dance. When dancing, sometimes you lead (intention) and sometimes you follow (sensitivity), and this dance with life is what you’ve been created for, plus it is the key to living a life that reveals and eventually fulfills your spiritual potential.

Of related interest, click on: Develop a Positive Attitude with Yoga

*Rae Indigo is ERYT500.

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