Be careful what you ask for .... you might just get it, and then what? Observe your mind and desires. The mind wants that which it perceives as pleasurable and does not want to experience what it perceives as non-pleasurable. And before you know it, everything changes.
Everything comes and goes Pleasure moves on too early And trouble leaves too slow (from Joni Mitchell "Down to You")
Therefore, we feel dissatisfied, irritable, unfulfilled, restless, etc. The yoga sutras call this tendency a "Klesha", a source of misery or suffering. Prashantji has been teaching about "Yoga as Klesha-management". He has been educating us to observe how our minds jump around, and our senses react and over-react to so many outside distractions. Little by little, consistent yoga practice brings stability to the mind, quietness to the organs of perceptions and clarity about who we are, as we re-direct the mind and organs of perception to look within ourselves for causes, conditions, and subsequent remedies to our life challenges.
This theme has found its way into many of the classes here at RIMYI. The third week of the month is backbending week. Here, the third week of February has also brought rising temperatures and humidity to Pune and most days have been in the upper 90's! The practice of bending backward, day after day also can bring rising temperatures within the body and mind....sometimes with positive and sometimes with negative results! When we all arrived at the beginning of the month, we felt raw, a bit unconditioned and jet-lagged. The outside temperature was chilly morning and evening, and I often wore a sweater at night. As the days and practices accrued, I found my body and mind becoming stronger, firmer, more focused and at ease within this Indian and Yoga culture. As students, we began to get excited about what was coming (backbends!) and I observed more people practicing advanced backbends in the open practices. Now backbend week has arrived. With each subsequent class, there are sore muscles and more groans....lift the buttocks, higher! Open the armpits and take the dorsal spine in, more and more! Stay in Urdhva Dhanuasana longer....and exhale further and further and further! We laugh and groan simultaneously. The next morning 7am arrives quickly, and we all wonder with some trepidation what is in store for us today. Prashant and Abhi counsel us to observe these tendencies....wanting and not wanting. They ask us to search within ourselves to find mental and physical stability and to use discernment to know what to do, when to do it, and why we are doing it. They are teaching us backbending, yes, but more than that, they are teaching the subject of Yoga. How can we ultimately culture ourselves so that we experience equanimity and unity of mind and heart?
It is this process of inner searching (even as we grunt and groan) that calms, cools and focuses the mind, allows the breath to flow with ease, and opens the heart. It reminds me of a sculptor who takes the dull, dense material of nature and heats it so that it can flow and become malleable. Then through the skillful, artistic, and discriminating stroke of the artist, the formless takes shape and the beauty of inner unity is composed and expressed.
May you each perceive the beauty before you, as you also experience the beauty within you.