05 Feb Sanctuary, Simplicity & Solitude
By Karen Ledesma
Life races around us at a frenetic pace. Our attention is easily divided and distracted as we are pulled at once in several directions. All of the “stuff” that we acquire and carry around with us is supposed to make our lives easier, simpler, and more connected, but so often it is our “stuff” that pulls us away from real simplicity and basic goodness. We move from restless to bored to frantic states of mind, ever seeking, and nothing ever seems quite enough to create lasting happiness.
Yoga gives the opportunity to take a break from the hectic pace that we travel day to day—an opportunity for sanctuary and for solitude. We are presented with simplicity: our mats, our bodies, and our breath. No matter the degree of difficulty that the class presents on any given day, these things remain constant. When our bodies and our breaths become vehicles for strength, focus and balance on which we can rely, we suddenly and rather unexpectedly find ourselves “happy” in a very basic, almost inexplicable way. We have discovered a place inside of us that is unshaken and very still, even when life continues in the same frenzied pace.
Bikram style yoga, especially, makes very clear the value of simplicity. We are presented with 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises day after day. The instructions we are given are first dizzying, then become familiar, and eventually become like a mantra that allows our minds to truly and completely relax into what we are doing. The moment we experience complete absorption in what we are doing—without the absence of distraction—we have our first taste of the exhilarating opportunity for simplicity that yoga presents.
So drop in, breathe deep, and experience what is most deeply real—let your breath be your guide and your own body the most intimate map to your Self you will ever know.