12-19-10 The Art of Receiving.
During the holiday season we talk about giving to others. It is a way to pay homage to those we love and show a small token of appreciation for them. What about the proper way to receive a gift? Let us examine.
Reading in Salamba Viparti Karni (supported legs up the wall) with a bolster under the sacrum. Open the heart and get settled. Breath awareness here - follow the flow through the nose. Inhale and exhale.
"One of the main purposes of Yoga is to keep the mind calm. There are certain gifts that, if accepted, make you feel obligated. If you are unable to fulfill that obligation , you are disturbed. Accorrding to the precepts of Patanjali, that is the reason you are advised not to accept gifts; if you do, unconsciously you become obliged to the giver. Later you have to go out of your way to do something to satisfy that person.
"Certain types of gifts will not disturb the mind. Those you can accept. Someone is just expressing her love or reverence for you and expects nothing back. She feels she should do it, and it is an opportunity for her perhaps to fulfill an obligation she feels to you. Accept it. But if somehow you personally feel obligated receiving it, you are receiving more for yourself than for the sake of the one who gave it. To maintain your own peace of mind, you should return the gift. You may not have the opportunity to give her something back, and you will feel guilty.
"Don't go empty handed to see a king because at least you are earning some sort of recognition by meeting him. In the Hindu scripture we are told, don't go empty handed to a baby, a king, a saintly person, or to God. Bring an offering, no matter how simple or rich, but whatever it is, it should come from the sweat of your toil. When you go to a baby, take something - not because the baby is consciously giving you something, but because you will be happy in the baby's presence. You will be inspired. You are in the Divine presence. A baby is like the sun dispelling clouds. Being near a baby makes you feel like a baby - you forget all your problems."
- Sri Swami Satchidananda To Know Your Self, p. 185-186
Sitting in Sukhasana (easy seat) on a bolster, inhale rise up the front body, exhale rush down the back body. Follow the breath. 3 Om's. Table, cat/cow - attention on lifting the sitz bones as you concave your back - same action in the next pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog). Vinyasa 3x moving with the breath from Balasana (child's pose), inhale to table, exhale to dog, reverse and repeat. Adho Mukha Svanasana > plank 3x, lunge, high lunge > Virabhadrasana I (warrior I), high lunge > Vira I > Vira II > Vira I. Balasana. Tadasana (mountain pose), Vrksasana (tree pose), Garudasana (eagle pose), standing balance with knee circles. Trikonasana (triange pose) > Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose) > Vira II. Dandasana (staff pose), Paschimottanasana (west back stretch), Janu Sirsasana (head to knee pose), Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose) - yogi choice if adding forward extension - are you hips level with your knees? Hug knees into chest, Anandabalasana (happy baby pose), Supine Eka Padangusthasana (reclined one leg stretch). Smile, give yourself a big hug, and rock on your back side to side, releasing any lower back pain. Savasana (corpse pose) with guided relaxation. Played sacral - orange crystal chakra bowl coming out of Savasana.
Final reading from Sri Swami Satchidananda To Know Your Self p. 189-190:
"When things come to you, just let them come. When they are in your possession, take good care of them while you are using them; don't just leave them lying about. But when you are finished, leave them free to move again. Use things as long as you want. Allow them to stay as long as they want to stay with you. But the minute they say, "I'm a little tired of being here, let me go to another place," say, "Sure, go. Your freedom is there."
"When you do that, you know what happens? They may leave you because you don't imprison them. They might somehow become fascinated with another house. But there they are locked up, and one day they escape and go to yet another house, and are again locked up. Then they realize, "My goodness, I should have stayed with the fellow who really gave me freedom." So they come back to you. When you don't cling to anything, everything comes back and want to remain with you - even if you say, "Why don't you go?"
"No, wherever I go, I get caught. I'll just stay with you."
"That's contentment. If you don't imprison things and don't run after things, they will love to be with you. I'm just intrepreting the scriptual sayings in a little different way. The Sannyas Upanishad, speaking of the glory of renunciation says, "If you are totally dispassionate and not clinging onto anything - which is complete renunication - you will find the Goddess of Learning and the Goddess of Wealth sitting at your feet waiting to serve you."
Ending peace chants:
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya -
Lead us from unreal to real. Lead us from darkness to the light. Lead us from the fear of death, to the knowledge of Immortality.
Lokaah Samataah Sukhino Bhavantu - May the entire universe be filled with peace and joy, love and light.
Victory to that light!