By Meisha Bosma
“Discovering that we are not who we habitually take ourselves to be is the beginning of awakening” – John Prendergast
Your BODY is a kaleidoscope of information, a portal to your Truth. In spite of what your mind says, your BODY is radiating the path of Truth, and it wants to share its message with you.
When a friend asks, “How are you?” I wonder how your body might reply. It may sound something like this: “Well, I’ve just checked in and my shoulders feel a bit heavy. A hint of tightness in my chest has emerged. My two lips are full of lightness, as if light is literally shining from them. Wow, I’ve got heaviness, tightness, and lightness going on, all at once! It appears I’m a walking contradiction. But it sure feels good to detangle from my head, and strip it down to a body response.” A reply from mind sounds something like this, “All is well, how are you?”
With mind at central command, we miss the juicy details of Truth spoken straight from the body.
I believe we’ve grown insensitive to what our bodies are trying to tell us. It’s easy to ignore or misinterpret the information streaming from our backs, our hands, our mouth, our organs, our breath and chest. Our minds typically want to figure it all out, and speak for us. But when practiced sacredly, yoga and meditation call us back to BODY, inviting us to listen to the physical sensations that are arising, without judgment or aversion. When we stop trying to change or defend against anything that is arising, we enter our authenticity and the long-silenced voice of BODY emerges.
It is possible to re-experience the body in a completely tactile way, and doing so is a courageous act because various Truths might be delivered that you do not want to hear. Or your mind will do what it’s so good at – justify, deny or explain away what the body is rightly feeling. Or perhaps you are listening but don’t yet know how to decode the sacred messages being sent to you.
Using the example from above, sensations of heaviness and tightness are signs of disconnect. The body is saying it’s living in the man-made qualities of fear, doubt, anxiety, or insecurity. This is useful information. We can dialogue with these feelings of disconnect and discover the underlying beliefs or thoughts associated with the sensations. Lightness indicates a connection with our God Self, a moment of grace. It carries a message that we’ve made contact with our innate source of unconditional love and trust, our True Nature. And what’s fascinating is that traces of disconnect and connect often times appear simultaneously, in fact it’s quite common. We do not awaken all at once. We awaken one moment at a time, and our bodies reflect this process.
The ultimate purpose of any discomforting sensation is to bring us back home to our God Self. We don’t need to get rid of discomfort or suffering. Instead we can meet it and greet it, and be with the message it has for us. Your BODY is the entry point, two loving arms with an invitation to self-inquiry. If you accept this invite, BEWARE! You might just awaken to the God Self that you already are.
by Mireia Yogimani Negre
During this month of celebrating Deities at Laughing Lotus, our beautiful teacher Mireia shares about her experience teaching yoga to bilingual Seniors and the wisdom they have taught her. For Mireia, these senior students are the God’s and Goddesses of her life!
The Gods and Goddesses are alive within all of us, and in my experience, they are more visibly alive within the senior population. In June 2012, I started sharing bilingual yoga with seniors at On Lok 30th St. Senior Center in San Francisco. I follow this path with all of my heart, and I am deeply committed to serve those who came prior to me. Working with the seniors has opened my eyes even more to how yoga allows us to find spiritual unity no matter who we are, and no matter where we come from.
We all share one truth behind our different names and paths, and by doing yoga and synchronizing breath and movement, we are exploring who we are, and we are exploring the Divine. When the seniors practice yoga, they visibly let their divine lights shine. To me, they are the most visible example of Gods and Goddesses because they are spiritually mature, they are closer to the Truth, and they do their duty with joy, and without being attached to results of their actions. They are true Yogis.
I learn so much from the seniors I teach, because of their spiritual maturity through their long life experiences. I believe that those who have searched for the Divine have also had the Divine come to them, and that the Divine comes to us according to the intensity in which we are seeking it. These beautiful Senior yogis seem to be seeking the Divine in each breath, movement and step.
The senior Gods and Goddesses also seem to be more close to the Divine as they age, because they are closer to join the greatest: Death or Rebirth. They use their body and their breath as a vehicle for awakening. They honor this vehicle, and then they let go of it. Becoming detached to the physical body is a key component of the yoga practice, and the seniors let go completely to discover the greatest divinity alive within themselves.
Finally, the seniors do their duty with joy without being attached to results of their actions. They cannot wait to start class, and they enthusiastically work as a team to set up the room and help each other. When I arrive to the senior center they are waiting with a smile from ear to ear and they even bring me breakfast. Once the class has started they all work in unison and follow directions alert and relaxed, which means they are not really attached to the results of their actions. They continue to show up, Saturday after Saturday to take action. Then, when the class is finished, they clap their hands with joy. By taking action and doing yoga, they explore, discover, and gain a healthier and more balanced perspective. They know we are in this journey together and they relate to others with empathy and compassion.
One time, Delia, an 85 senior woman from Latin America fell down walking towards her yoga matt and the whole class came to her rescue. The seniors are Gods and Goddesses. All their gestures are divine.
In life we encounter great mysteries outside our bodies that are worth exploring. These Gods and Goddesses have been passed to us from generation after generation, and are alive within all of us, but again, especially alive within the seniors! Sharing bilingual Spanish-English yoga with them has been the greatest gift of all. This is a path I intend to follow wholeheartedly. Because we all come from different backgrounds and beliefs, yoga allows us to find spiritual unity no matter who we are. Yoga means union with universal consciousness and the seniors not only have this understanding, but they act upon it. First, by being spiritually mature, second, by being closer to the truth, and third, by doing their duty with joy without being attached to results of their action. I love my senior friends because all their gestures are Divine!
If you have senior family members or friends that wish to discover the depths of their divinity, please, share this post and send them to On Lok 30th St. Senior Center on 225 30th St, (at Dolores St.) SF, CA. We meet every Saturday from 10 AM to 11 AM and we work in unison to feel the universal consciousness behind all our different names and paths. Yoga meets us where we are and allows us to discover the Gods and Goddesses within us all. But the seniors come first.
Peace – Mireia Yogimani
Bilingual Spanish-English Yoga and Meditation