The Yoga of Life

We’re here to play the long game, I hope. We need to have time to figure things out, make sense of the world, and come to understand our place in it. This path, we know, is rarely, if ever, linear. We wobble, and we weave and get lost. It feels like a labyrinth or maze. 

I feel the most lost when I’m disconnected from God, from Source. When I value the wrong stuff, when I put things over people, when I take more than I give, when I talk more than I listen, when I’m stuck inside more than free outside, and when I tune my frequencies to bobbling talking heads rather than to the Source of my love and light and Being. I’m learning to become more aware of where, when, and how I feel it, but it’s crooked travel, and sometimes it hurts.

The hardest step is the first. How long do we allow ourselves to suffer until we finally leap from thought to thing, from idea to action, from desire to momentum? The short and easy answer is too long. There’s got to be an easier way.

Brothers and sisters, I have to believe that we are not here to suffer. We did not come into these bodies for pain, and our souls aren’t meant for torment. We did not come into this life to toil. 

One of my greatest teachers, Brian McCormick, once posed the question: What if this is heaven? Recognizing, believing, and understanding the infinite and eternality of the individual Soul and its connection to the universal Source, is it not this span of our creation that is perhaps most holy? Certainly, it’s what might be most unique. Where else but here will we experience a sunset, fall in love, hold our newborn babies, hit home runs, and dance until dawn? What other span of our existence will we have these senses—to visualize the manifestation, taste the ecstasy, feel the delight, and know the joy and awareness of reality in the most personal ways possible?

This is the place for light.

This is the place for love. 

When we once again transform into pure positive vibration, we will be many things. Physical is not one of them. 

Translation: this is the place for fun

This is the place to feel it.

All we get are these few precious years. And we feel this time through our experience of space. In this space where all the cosmic goo gets mixed. The joys and the sorrows, the triumphs and travails, the movements here there and back again. I feel all this the most in my life with my kids. I experience it coaching basketball and baseball and witnessing young people lose their minds and spirits on missed shots and groundouts. Whether it’s in my own home, or on the court or field, I struggle to find new ways to motivate the young people I love and serve to love and serve themselves, struggle to model the patience needed for resilience, struggle to see things through their eyes instead of my own. How do I convey the idea that to play is far greater than the play itself? What I want to share with them is that the failures are not losses, the losses are not defeats, the defeats are not destruction. Until and except for the night before, success doesn’t happen overnight. Enlightenment takes a little time. Bliss, a little practice. And it’s never over. Climbing to the top of the mountain only reveals another mountain. Our work is never done. There will always be contrast. There will always be reminders of what we don’t want so that we can better tune our frequencies to what we do. Thank God. I can hear Jimmy Cliff singing “Many Rivers to Cross.” 

So, our efforts, my friends, are to soften the hard edges of our past traumas and the emotions and feelings that attract the thoughts and beliefs of negative self-worth, shame, and isolation. We can’t get ‘better’ until we arrive at some ‘good’ and we can’t become our best unless we heal. Our duty is to the Self. Here the enduring centuries-old wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita shines through when Krishna tells Arjuna that when beholding the self in the Self, the self is content. That’s what I want to feel— santosha (contentment). It’s why we do what we do. We practice because of how we want to feel; we teach because we want to share the good vibrations with you. The yoga of life is an eight-limbed practice calling us to live well, to move mindfully, to breathe intentionally, and to experience, through focus and concentration, and through meditation, the divine connection between our Self and pure Source energy—to know God, to feel God, and to become one with God. What a glorious opportunity we have been given! 

So, how do we do it? Much easier done than said, but in short, we chill out. We relax. We slow our brainwaves down. We release. We open. The Chandogya Upanishad unveils the path: 

“As a tethered bird grows tired of flying

About in vain to find a place of rest

And settles down at last on its own perch,

So the mind, tired of wandering about

Hither and thither, settles down at last

In the Self, dear one, to which it is bound.”

It is a journey home to the SELF calling us navigate the layers of our Being as we travel through the koshas and the akashic field and explore the experience of the most sacred internal wisdom, that “we live not by the breath that flows in and flows out, but by [the One] who causes the breath to flow in and flow out” (Katha Upanishad). It is a practice of knowing the Knower, of creating the dream.

We need this connection now more than ever. The way out of the madness of the modern world is to journey in. Yoga nidra is one of those ways in, one of those keys that can unlock a great many doors. Yoga nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. It is a threshold state of psychic sleep between the conscious and subconscious. Patanjali’s eight-limbed path speaks of pratyahara, sense withdrawal, the ‘process’ of the mind and mental awareness disassociating from the sensory channels. Yoga nidra facilitates pratyahara and is a gateway to higher states of consciousness and to samadhi, the experience of enlightenment in the now. Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you.” The yoga of my life is a journey home to my Self. The road to being good is paved by feeling good. This is what I seek. Yoga Nidra is the practice that helps me get there. It’s what I want to share with you. Join me. 

The link to the practice:

By Ryan Allen

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