The fabulous David, one of our students and a brilliant writer, has so kindly offered to write blogs for The Sanctuary about one of the themes that is offered with our classes.
In Mysan’s classes last week, the theme was gratitude and she shared an Osho quote with all of us.
“Take hold of your own life.
See that the whole existence is celebrating.
These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious. The rivers and the oceans are wild,
and everywhere there is fun,
everywhere there is joy and delight.
listen to the existence and become part of it.”
Mysan has us in shoelace pose- I like to think of it as bending forward pretzel pose. She says “take a deep breath”, which is not as straight forward as it sounds, my chest is constricted by the pressure of my thighs pressing into my chest and my ample stomach is pushing up into my lungs.
But I do as she suggests. Immediately I feel all the holding tension in my back. She then encourages us to breathe into the holding. I do and feel that sense of release you get from a big sigh wash all through me and into my lower back. Ahhhhhh…
She then asks something that has a profound impact, “What are you grateful for right now?”
I was resting on my hands, feeling my weight braced along my arms, my palms pressed into the floor. She says,” why don’t you try turning your palms up and rest down a little bit more?”
Again, I do as she suggests and I find that I actually can rest down a little bit more and just accept the sensations. All the resistance I’d had to bending forward suddenly disappears. This gesture of acceptance, its relationship to the release of tension and gratitude was a revelation to me.
Mysan laughs, “There you are!” And here I am, suddenly grateful for this precious life coursing through this somewhat creaky old body and all the sensations surging through me that tell me I’m alive.
Yin Yoga is a wonderful practice for teaching us metaphors for our experience.
I’ve started to experiment with gestures of acceptance – – one of the most powerful tools in our possession for dealing with the stresses of modern life. It’s the precondition for responding to whatever one encounters in life with gratitude.
Stuck in traffic? Thank you traffic gods, I really needed this time to relax and release the tension in my body by using conscious breathing to relax. I’ll get to where I’m going when I get there!
Kids going nuts on holidays, stuck inside because it’s raining? Thank you holiday weather gods, I needed that reminder to actually spend some quality time with them teaching them how to make their own entertainment. Let’s pull out a board game.
Just got stung by a bee? How good is adrenalin for getting things done! Now, I’m going to mow the lawns.
Life happens when and however it happens. We’ve basically got two choices we can resist it, or lean in and accept it. Once we get that basic leaning into response going, it’s a short step to become truly grateful for whatever happens. And so we start to embrace Osho’s exhortation to take hold of and celebrate all of life.
By David Braunstein