Prayers That are Made of Poses

Written by on March 20, 2018 in Conscious Living, Inspirational with 0 Comments

Often times, we conceptualize enlightenment the product which can only come by meditating in a cave in Tibet for 30 years, subsisting on a grain of rice a day, and praying non-stop. In the body/mind/spirit model of spiritual growth and attainment, it’s often the mind and heart only which are seen as the viable avenues for enlightenment. But in truth, the body is just as able a pathway toward understanding and experiencing our highest, most Divine being. 

Yoga is about understanding ourselves through listening—paying close attention to anything, including and especially our physical body. The body isn’t something to master or to subdue on the road to higher consciousness. Rather, it’s a fundamental tool, or a vehicle, which drives us toward our ultimate understanding of Self. Yoga means union, not subversion. 


Understanding how the body works and how to be efficient and powerful with it, is a mastery that will serve us our entire lives. This tutelage will not only provide us with health and longevity, but will also give us greater insight into all other realms of our being. Further, I proffer that the health aspect of cultivating your body comes second to the practice of “knowing thyself” through it— wellness is the byproduct of Awareness.

In fact, the physical body is such a remarkable tool to help us gain awareness, that it is the perfect place to start along your path of spiritual awakening. This is why many people start yoga for its physical benefits and soon discover the mindfulness and spirituality of the practice. Perhaps on our quest to expand our souls, we must first learn to expand our hamstrings.

My car mechanic knows how to drive my car better than I do because he understands much better than I about its underlying form. His knowledge changes the way he drives because he understands deeper what makes it drive. Similarly, as you understand how to drive, not just the human body but YOUR human body, you’ll learn to operate it in a way that will increasingly build presence. With presence, you will move more consciously which in turn will help you practice greater presence.

http://www.danceheritage.org/baryshnikov.html

https://www.pinterest.com/zenocasti/slamdunk/

Any practice that invites you to know yourself is an avenue toward the Divine. And whether your watching Mikhial Baryshnikov or Michael Jordan witnessing someone who has reached the pinnacle of physical performance, is witnessing the Divine. Yoga poses therefore, are prayers you make with your body.

May you be happy and well however you pray, whether that’s in a cave, on the dance floor, or on your yoga mat.

 

 

Photo by Seneca Moore

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program


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