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The Practice of Understanding Everything

My teacher once said, “When you understand something all the way down to its core, you understand everything else.” This is one of those time-lapsed lessons, like a photo of the night sky, taken over several hours that shows you in one shot what actually takes a long time to occur. 

 

The Gayatri mantra a mantra which essentially states that if I truly understood that everything originates from the same source, I would see that everything is integrally connected and therefore I have everything I need. What I’ve been practicing lately is understanding how through my different disciplines of focus and study in life, yoga/mediation, music, and human relationships, I can see the SAME truths manifest whether I’m practicing sun salutations, playing Coltrane on my sax, or learning to truly listen to my wife and life-partner. Like the Gayatri mantra states, understanding something to its core, means understanding that everything comes from that core.

 

The ancient yoga sutras give us insight on how to achieve Samadhi, the fullest experience of yoga when one realizes the connectedness of all things. There are several ways to this goal—the sutras list 8. Through practicing, yoga, and meditation, I’ve come to understand that it’s foolish to think that one can only get the knowledge and wisdom of Samadhi by practicing yoga. Once I get a taste for what it is, I can feel Samadhi in yoga, hear it in Coltrane, I can feel in when my wife and I are truly connected. Sometimes it takes practicing a discipline and arriving at the finish line, or even at mile markers along the way, to realize that there are several paths that could have brought you there.

 

Staying Connected to Mother Nature and Following These Simple Ayurvedic Principles Can Revolutionize Our Life, Barbara Sinclair CLN writer

So knowing that there are several ways to roll, and I get to choose the one that work best for me, I still choose yoga/meditation, music, and love as my pathways to my personal wisdom and fulfilment. And when someone tells me of their passion for their path, be it Pilates, badminton, painting, or death metal (that’s right), I am offered an opportunity to practice listening and compassion to understand how that pathway could bring that soul to the same place. Critics might say that death metal couldn’t possibly bring someone to the same place that yoga or meditation could. To critics, I would proffer the sure way to know if that’s true: start listening to death metal. 

 

I’m thrilled to have a job where I get to practice and teach one of the very things that brings me toward my highest truth and I celebrate the opportunity to meet like-minded people along the way. 

 

I hope you discover what golden nuggets line your path to understanding your highest self. 

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




Ayurveda: The Science of Life

Ayurveda is the fascinating and practical science that studies the world and how we can best come into harmony with this world. It is the sister-science of yoga and is a practical observational science that puts you into the driver’s seat of your own wellness. 

 

What I love about Ayurveda is that while it can heal imbalances and malady, it is most often used as a method of maintaining balance and wellbeing rather than only treating illness. One of my teachers told me that to truly understand yoga, you must also have a working relationship with Ayurveda. 

 

Ayurveda studies three basic qualities called Doshas. In their combination these doshas describe everything in the universe. To simplify, these qualities are: vata, wind quality; pitta, fire quality; and kapha, earth quality. Just like everything in the universe, each person has a unique expression of these qualities called a prakruti. Understanding your prakruti empowers you to negotiate the elements in your life in order to guide yourself toward radiant wellness for body, mind, and spirit. 

 

Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel fantastic even though it seems like you are doing all the right things that should make you healthy and feeling great? Have you ever followed a popular diet or exercise regimen only to feel worse? Sometimes even the kind of yoga we practice makes us leave feeling off. Understanding your prakruti helps you to guide yourself (sometimes with the help of an Ayurvedic practitioner) toward specific types of life-practices that optimize your unique chemistry. Remember, Ayurveda suggests that each person has a unique pathway to optimal wellness. 

 

Excessive amounts of any dosha causes us imbalance. Understanding this and correcting imbalances, often by simple and practical means, puts us back on the path to balance. Ayurveda acknowledges that what may be health promoting for one person may be diminishing for another. Regarding anything that affects our health, be that medicine or food or yoga, Ayurveda always asks, “For whom, how much, when, and why.” 

 

Sometimes it takes an Ayurvedic practitioner, a trained guide, to help you figure out your prakruti and place yourself on a regimen that will guide you toward optimal wellness. With even a little understanding of Ayurveda and your prakruti, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to keep yourself feeling wonderful. With this understanding you will find the best food choices, sleeping, yoga and exercising patterns, and even scheduling, that will keep you feeling amazing. 

 

For fun, take this online dosha quiz and find out which dosha seems to match you.

 

This week, perhaps you can choose which yoga classes you attend based on what you feel like would give you the greatest balance. Feeling Kapha, (earth): sluggish, slow, or weighed down, or unclear? Get your bones outta bed and try going to an early morning flow class. Feeling Vata (wind): ungrounded, flighty, agitated, or nervous? Try going to Restore Yoga to  settle your nervous system. Feeling Pitta (fire): overheated by a project or feeling of expectation or perfection? Try channeling some of that energy into a Power Yoga class.  Use Ayurveda to direct your yoga choices.  

For more information about Ayurveda and to book a consult, especially regarding women’s health, I suggest a wonderful practitioner, Sunny Rose with Mamayurveda.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Intelligence of Body and Mind

I can’t read minds but after 16 years of teaching yoga I have become pretty adept at reading bodies which often gives the same kind of insight, especially everything I need to know to match the needs of my yoga students.

While I’m teaching a yoga class, I can see the open hearted practitioner manifesting the courage they are demonstrating in their daily life. I can see the slumped shoulders of the practitioner who feels burdened by the weight of the world or who is guarding a broken heart. By reading bodies, I can see those who are rigid in their thinking and those who are open, those who are focused and those who distracted. I can see those who are enjoying class and those who are counting the minutes ‘til it’s done. 

What is truly phenomenal is to feel an entire class move and breathe collectively. In those magical moments, the entire class feels like it shares the same body and mind. Truly that is the oneness of yoga. In those moments I no longer feel that I’m leading the class but that the class is leading me and all of us. 

Photo by Seneca Moore

This body/mind connection is perhaps more powerful than we imagine.  The same way that your mind affects your body, you can reverse engineer this concept so that by changing the shape of your body, you can change the state of your mind. In yoga practice you adopt the shape of a warrior to find the powerful warrior inside of you that knows how to conquer whatever stands before you, even if you don’t feel particularly powerful. You become the eagle to find your focus when you are feeling unclear. You morph into the dog to celebrate playfulness and groundedness when you might be feeling untethered and all business. You yield in child’s pose to practice humility and submission when you might be experiencing a power struggle. No wonder we walk away from a yoga class feeling like the practice has enlivened all those parts of us that we knew were there but were maybe resting dormant. 

There is a simple magic in the practice of incorporating your body into process of molding your mind. Romantic poet William Blake used to spend weeks laboring over copperplate etchings of the subjects of his poetry so that when it came time to write the poem, it was already worked out in his head. There is something about adopting a sort of craft in order to tap into the intelligence which is larger than only mind and which hold the body/mind intelligence.

The next time that you need to make a decision, work through a problem, or tap your creativity, try going on a walk, taking a yoga class, or dancing for a moment to dance. Wallace Stevens once said, “Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” There’s deep wisdom in your connection to body and mind.

Scott MooreScott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




The Art of Yoga

What is the marriage between inner and outer beauty? 

Yoga is many things. It’s a science, a philosophy, a mode of spirituality, and a method of therapy to name a few. Sometimes I forget that yoga is also an art. Yoga is beautiful, pure and simple. It’s beautiful to watch and to experience. Yoga, like many other disciplines, explores and celebrates what it means to be human. Through the form of our poses we understand our inner-realm and celebrate being alive. We celebrate being. 

It’s true that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts; you don’t win when you’ve accomplished a pose. Yet, there is something sublimely beautiful in the simplest form, the humblest yoga posture. When I teach yoga, I am privileged to witness the beauty of all different body types, ages, and walks of life practice being human. I see lines, curves, and angles come alive and flow. I see the magical bleed between effort and ease dancing before me. I see the embodiment of bliss and understanding as well as struggle and frustration. I can feel what’s happening on the inside of my students because it’s manifesting on the outside right before me like a living poem, like sculpture that moves, like a painting that comes alive, or a boisterous Rock Opera turned up to 11. Sure, it’s not about how the pose looks but rather how it feels that is important. Regardless, your inner beauty manifests outwardly. It is still true that the poses are beautiful.  We are living art.

And yet this being human, this living art, is like a sand painting that even as we speak is withering to its demise to become part of the elements from whence we came. This notion reminds me that art (human or otherwise) is just as much if not more expressed in its becoming than in its arrival. It shows me that the entire process of our lives is like one long, beautiful play full of tragedies, joys, doldrums, and loves.  

Understanding the art of becoming rather than arriving emphasizes presence, the sublime of right now.  And perhaps that is the intersection between inner and outer beauty, the place where inner presence and outer form meet. In this sacred marriage, our form helps us to understand that numinous realm within and our presence helps us to live outwardly with heath, clarity, and yes, beauty.

You are an artist whether you think of yourself as an artist or not. An artist, whether dancer, painter, musician, sculptor, or liver of life, must practice presence to honestly and bravely witness this world. The unconscious or the busy mind would pass by such beauty. The artist doesn’t only celebrate sunrises and rainbows. The artist finds beauty also in dark lines and shadow. Landscapes that don’t make sense or that paint a picture that is tragic, disturbing, and poignant, are nonetheless beautifully human. Indeed, that’s why we love tragedies and the dark side because this beautiful tapestry of life isn’t limited by only sunrises and rainbows.  With presence, we can truly see the beauty in all things, especially ourselves.

I invite you to celebrate the full beauty of your life this week through yoga and mindfulness. Celebrate what it means to be human. You are beautiful. You are art. 

 

Poem of the One World 

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite, beautiful, myself.

~Mary Oliver

Scott Moore Yoga

Photo by Dallas Graham

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Affogato: To the Bitterness and the Sweetness

I’m currently living in Europe and I’ve had the pleasure through, both hosting a yoga retreat as well as vacationing, to spend some time in Italy. It’s in Italy where I discovered perhaps one of the most beautiful culinary delights—The affogato. 

For those who have not heard of this perfect Italian dessert, let me explain: An affogato is espresso—aromatic, rich, and earthy—in a cup large enough to accompany a dollop of delicious, sweet, and creamy gelato. Delizioso!  That’s affogato. I love affogato because it celebrates the bitter and the sweet, the hot and the cold, in a way that is balanced and deliciously satisfying. 

My biggest affogato moment in my life happened several year ago when I was forced to close two yoga studios exactly one week before I married the love of my life. Ever noticed how kick-ass and ass-kicking have two totally different meanings? That’s affogato! While I was going through this roller coaster of events in my life, I could almost hear a voice from above saying, “Please keep your arms and legs in the ride at all times.” 

One afternoon that year, before the businesses closed, I was driving home from teaching yoga and worrying terribly. I looked up into the sky and swear I saw a cloud that looked exactly like God’s hand was offering me a fist-bump. Serious! It was a message like, “Bro! I know. Wild ride. But don’t worry, I gatchew.” And you know what? Despite the bitter worry and heart-break of closing my studios, several years later, I’m doing better than ever, moving forward in my career with a sweet stride, and thriving in a way that I could never have imagined. 

One of my dear teachers is Dr. Richard Miller who help to begin my journey with teaching Yoga Nidra. My studio hosted Dr. Richard Miller for an incredible weekend of workshops. After the last night of his workshops, we all went to a student’s house for dinner. I had to come a little late to the dinner because I had the arduous task of having a meeting with all of my teachers at the studio to tell them that we were going to lose the studios and would soon be closing the doors. Once I got to the dinner, I started talking to Richard Miller and explained to him where I was and what I had just done. He paused for a moment as a big smile spread across his face. He leaned into me and said, almost in a whisper, “congratulations!”  He understood that my struggle of closing the studio was inconsequential compared to an exciting new journey of personal growth and expansion without it. It reminds me of Matsuo Basho who said, “The moon is brighter since the barn burned.” During those bitter moments it was difficult to see the sweetness that lay just ahead.

A week after closing the doors to the studio, I married the woman of my dreams and set off for new learning and adventures. She’s the woman with whom I expect to spend the rest of my many years, right up until the day we decide to roll our motorized wheelchairs into an active volcano together. Now THAT’S affogato!

Holding two extremes together has really been one of my overall lessons in life. 

Yoga and mindfulness has taught me that the beauty of life comprises the largeness of the entire experience, good and bad. Just enjoying the sweet isn’t large enough. Ananda means beyond joy. It means seeing the whole mind-blowing experience as complete and perfect. Balanced. 

What are your affogato moments of life? How do you think appreciating this truth can help you prepare for the struggles that will inevitably come? Please add your voice by leaving a comment below. 

So I raise this affogato cup to you all and toast to all the bitterness and all the sweetness of life together!

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




Your Both and Nature: Doing and Being

 

Your identity is your foundation of existence. Too often we tend to identify with things that don’t support the truth of what we are, our beingness. Too often we get caught up as human doings rather than human beings. Too often we equate our value on what we can do rather than the fact that we simply are. 

 

Tantra is a school of eastern thought. One of the many facets to Tantra is its emphasis on non-dualism or all things belonging to a larger whole. When you can expand your Awareness from being either this or that, you tap into what I call your Both And Nature. This Both And Nature speaks to your higher beingness and embraces all the elements of you for optimal expression. 

 

Ironically, the person who doesn’t know their Both And Nature, identifies only as body or with their actions, equates their existence with only what they can do. Ability and doing is by nature volatile and changeable so their sense of identity lacks a real foundation. This lack of existential foundation invariably affects performance because each act becomes a desperate grope for identity when there’s none to be had merely by performing an action. 

 

Photo by Seneca Moore

During my career, I’ve taught yoga and meditation to dozens of world-class athletes and performers. Often when these performers retire, still quite young, they sometimes go into an existential crisis if their entire identity was wrapped up in solely what they could do. Now that they can no longer perform at the level they felt defined them, they have no idea who they are. 

 

By contrast, the person who is identified as a Being rather than a doer knows their Both And Nature and can act invincibly from that place because they realize that they and each of their actions are an expression of their Being, of Source. The person connected to their Being through practices like the Yoga Nidra, graduate from a level of merely doing an action to Being it. 

 

Yoga Nidra is a form of Tantric guided meditation that is both relaxing and very useful to reinforce your sense of your own Being. The aim in Yoga Nidra is to disidentify from anything in the realm of the changeable, like body or thoughts, and learn to identify as Awareness itself. Typically, a Yoga Nidra session will last anywhere from 15–40 minutes where you simply lie down, close your eyes, and listen to a facilitator (or recording) lead you through paying attention to things like your body, your breath, energy, thoughts, etc. This process leads you deeper and deeper both into relaxation as well as into Awareness. 

 

Since it’s also true that while you cannot identify solely as body, your body is an important (though changeable) part of who you are. It also exists as one of the greatest tools you possess to open yourself to the experience of Awareness. As you learn to inhabit your body with deeper Awareness, you tune into your Both And Nature and from that place of embodied Awareness, you can go out and perform at your best. 

 

Click here to hear a free Yoga Nidra recording and experience for yourself the transformative of your own Both And Nature.

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Up-level Your Performance with Tantric Meditation

 

Your identity is your foundation of existence. Too often we tend to identify with things that don’t support the truth of what we are, our beingness. Too often we get caught up as human doings rather than human beings. Too often we equate our value on what we can do rather than the fact that we simply are. 

 

Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterains

Tantra is a school of eastern thought. One of the many facets to Tantra is its emphasis on non-dualism or all things belonging to a larger whole. When you can expand your Awareness from being either this or that, you tap into what I call your Both And Nature. This Both And Nature speaks to your higher beingness and embraces all the elements of you for optimal expression. 

 

Ironically, the person who doesn’t know their Both And Nature, identifies only as body or with their actions, equates their existence with only what they can do. Ability and doing is by nature volatile and changeable so their sense of identity lacks a real foundation. This lack of existential foundation invariably affects performance because each act becomes a desperate grope for identity when there’s none to be had merely by performing an action. 

 

Photo by Seneca Moore

During my career, I’ve taught yoga and meditation to dozens of world-class athletes and performers. Often when these performers retire, still quite young, they sometimes go into an existential crisis if their entire identity was wrapped up in solely what they could do. Now that they can no longer perform at the level they felt defined them, they have no idea who they are. 

 

By contrast, the person who is identified as a Being rather than a doer knows their Both And Nature and can act invincibly from that place because they realize that they and each of their actions are an expression of their Being, of Source. The person connected to their Being through practices like the Yoga Nidra, graduate from a level of merely doing an action to Being it. 

 

Photo by David Newkirk

Yoga Nidra is a form of Tantric guided meditation that is both relaxing and very useful to reinforce your sense of your own Being. The aim in Yoga Nidra is to disidentify from anything in the realm of the changeable, like body or thoughts, and learn to identify as Awareness itself. Typically, a Yoga Nidra session will last anywhere from 15–40 minutes where you simply lie down, close your eyes, and listen to a facilitator (or recording) lead you through paying attention to things like your body, your breath, energy, thoughts, etc. This process leads you deeper and deeper both into relaxation as well as into Awareness. 

 

Since it’s also true that while you cannot identify solely as body, your body is an important (though changeable) part of who you are. It also exists as one of the greatest tools you possess to open yourself to the experience of Awareness. As you learn to inhabit your body with deeper Awareness, you tune into your Both And Nature and from that place of embodied Awareness, you can go out and perform at your best. 

Click here to hear a free Yoga Nidra recording and experience for yourself the transformative of your own Both And Nature.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Poses for Finding Stillness in a Changing Universe

If there is one thing that is constant in the Universe it’s that everything is in flux. Every moment of every day is the product of change. It’s easy to want to hold up our hands, to try to somehow stop all this change so that we can simply wrap our heads around what’s going on and get our center. The irony is that we must learn to be at home on the treadmill of life and find a stillness in the movement.  

 

In yoga, the  word for a yoga pose Asana, a Sanskrit word meaning your seat. Each posture is a way of practicing riding that wave of constant motion as you experience the changeability of your body, your, breath, and even your thoughts while you’re in the pose. 


Here are a few simple poses that will help you stay grounded and practice stillness in a Universe that is in constant flux. In addition to practicing being grounded, these poses have myriad other benefits as well. 

 

 

Paschimottanasana—Seated Forward Fold

To do this pose, simply sit on the floor with your legs outstretched and lean forward in the direction of your toes. Negotiate every poses with an intensity that I like to call “comfortably intense.” If you’re very tight, make this posture a little more accessible by bending your knees, raising your seat by sitting on a cushion, or holding onto your calves instead of toes. Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths.

This seated forward fold is one of my first go-to poses when I feel I need to be grounded. It’s grounding because for one, you’re sitting on the floor—literally grounding. For two, if you’re tight like me, it’s easy to stay present in this pose because there’s a lot of sensation. This posture stretches your calves, hamstrings, and the muscles in your back, especially your lower-back. 

This pose literally means “westward facing stretch.” If you’re facing the sun while doing sun salutations, the “west” side of the body would therefore be your back side, head to heels. In Native American spirituality, the west in ceremony often represents drawing in and meditating. In this posture, it’s very natural to close your eyes, lose yourself in your breaths and the stretch, and arrive at a meditative quality as you get grounded.

 

Suptakapotasana—Lying-Down Figure-Four Stretch

 

I love this pose! If there were a hall of fame for yoga poses, this pose would be in there. I love it because of how good it feels both while you’re doing it and after. This posture is a great counter pose to paschimottanasana, the previous pose, and helps your back relax and stay neutral while stretching your deep hip muscles called the external hip rotators, the muscles that lie beneath your glutes. If you’re tight in these muscles, you’re not alone. 

To do this pose, simply lie on your back and cross one leg over the thigh/knee of your other leg. It’s important to flex your toes of the leg you’re stretching back toward the shin so as to protect your knee. You could either keep your bottom leg on the floor if you feel a stretch or reach through with your arm and hold both hands behind your supporting leg. Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths on each side.

This pose helps to relax the muscles that are responsible for always keeping us on the go. This pose therefore puts your “on-the-go” quality to rest.

 

Jathara Parivartanasana—Lying-Down Side-Twist

 

Another great counter posture after either of the previous poses, this pose stretches the deep and superficial muscles of your core and helps to keep your spine supple and dynamic, a quality essential for a healthy back. This pose also helps with digestion.

Do this pose by simply lying on your back, bending your knees, and dropping them to one side. It might be helpful to put a cushion under the bottom leg or between the legs. Be careful with this pose if you have a very sensitive back and always err on the side of too easy.  Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths on each side.

In addition to helping you stay grounded, this pose also wrings out your nervous system by turning your spinal column and therefore spinal chord, the CPU of your nervous system. All the tension you might be feeling from our constantly moving Universe can be set as ease as you rest and breathe in this pose.

I hope that these poses will help you find some grounding in Universe that is constantly changing. May they help you find stillness in motion.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




Yoga With A Knife

Ingredients

There are many ingredients to this soup. Read like a mantra, there is zucchini and summer squash from mom and dad’s garden. There are carrots, sprouts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, veggie broth, Bragg’s, oregano, parsley, and salt and pepper. And, of course, a knife–to cut through what was once solid. And fire–to cook it up so I can assimilate it.
 
Another essential ingredient to this practice is breath. I breathe in deeply and smell the aromatic cauldron of veggies boiling on the stove; a scent so pure and strong, it reaches each room with misty tendrils, filling the entire apartment. The broth has turned an orange-brown color and juggles the bits of veggies—orange, green, and yellow—with its rolling boil. Each breath fills me with calm satisfaction, a sensual comfort of work close to Earth.
 
Like many rituals, this one has a costume. Instead of tight lycra, here I don my bulky, heavy-cotton chef shirt; a now-dirty white, the sleeves rolled up to the wrists, the chef shirt boasts two columns of buttons on either side, with my jazz moniker “SP Train” sewn into the correct place, over my heart. The jazz reference seems fitting. After all, cooking is a performance of sorts. The kitchen is my venue, my Village Vanguard. The other players are the stove on bass, the cutting board on drums, and the sink on piano. It’s a concert. It’s like jazz and yoga, both: equal parts recipe and improvisation.
 
Music is part of the ritual. Usually it’s Chet Baker or Miles Davis (the trumpet sounds so good in the kitchen). But today, it’s Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder. My good friend just gave me this album as a thank-you gift for letting him stay crash at my house last week. I let the sounds waft through the kitchen on repeat so I can digest all of it: the album, the memory of my friend, the ingredients, the time at home, and the opportunity to savor a moment lost in my own thoughts and designs. I can’t help but think how “tasty” this music is, how easy on the ears.
 
Of course, there is an order, an alignment, to this practice. In the same way I’d align my body in yoga practice, I align all the members of my kitchen. I boil the carrots before the squash to get the texture right. I cut and cook before I clean. At the end, this knife goes here, this plate there. I stretch and reach to put away the tall glasses in the top of the cupboard. I squat to put away the heavy pot in the drawer beneath the stove. My body knows what to do next, accustomed to this ritual.

The Practice of Washing Dishes


My life changed the day I realized that I would be doing dishes every day, sometimes a couple times a day, for the rest of my life. This realization was not  resignation but realization. Regardless of any other important mental, spiritual, or physical work I may do in this lifetime, one of my most fundamental tasks will be dish washing. It is something simple and ordinary but grounding and essential. Like breathing, I guess. Like moving my body through the same sun salutations. In this way, I get new lessons from old teachers.
 
There is contentment and ease in this practice. I love the sensation of the warm water and suds over my hands, the stable feel of my feet planted into the kitchen floor. Celeste is in the other room reading; her peaceful pleasure is palpable throughout the apartment, like a sigh and a slow, beating heart. I can feel she’s as content as I am, happy to have the comfort of both of us at home, me creating a meal for us in my favorite practice in the kitchen.

Enlightenment

Eventually comes the moment of enlightenment: eating. I struggle not to analyze the food. What if I would have added some fennel while the veggies were cooking?  I decide in time before I’ve spoiled the magic that it’s good enough, that there’s nothing else to do. But eat. This is the moment for enjoyment, nourishing body and soul. I savor it slowly and eat just enough, not too much, like we practice with yoga postures, finding the balance—so we’re satiated but not uncomfortable.
 
This practice starts with me directing the kitchen into chaos: pots boiling, utensils strewn on counters, something dribbling over the stove onto the floor, the molten hot contents of the blender exploding into a veggie volcano when I hit the pulse button… Then calmly, happily, I use a little bit of muscle and bring it all back into order, one sponge wipe at a time. I towel off the last bit of the silverware and put it back into the drawer. I bask in the clean, clear quiet at the end, and then, finally, take off my chef shirt and hang it on its familiar peg as I walk out the door. Only to do it again tomorrow.
 
As the old Zen adage, “Cut wood. Carry water,” teaches us, if we don’t find enlightenment, meaning, and purpose in life’s everyday tasks, we are moving too fast and missing the bigger picture. Slow down, and find a way to enjoy it. This daily life is the practice. Eat it up!

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program


 

 




Walking The Line

Whether we are new or seasoned practitioners, our objective in practice is always the same: to step up to the comfortable relationship with our edge. That invitation to step to our edge is so provocative! It suggests leaving the comfort of what we know and move toward our yet unknown greatness.

Living On The Frontier

I like the word “frontier.” In my mind, it conjures images of rugged people working with the land and wrestling with the unknown, growing and learning and being present with a life that is bigger than them but in which they play a part. The word “frontier” suggests perhaps our edge, our limit of experience or ability. It is the place which we have never been.

I think that whether you are working at a frontier of mindfulness, spirituality, or physicality, to place yourself at that edge of your experience is to truly live. Being at the edge isn’t always easy but it is always real.

Simply being at our edge, we become stronger, literally in the case of asanas, but in every aspect of living, we find ourselves more and more able to sit in the heat of our own growth and the inevitable unfolding of the unknown. Because we have to be observant at that edge, we will notice the miracle of what we’ve created by being there. It’s the miracle of watching our frontier, limitations we thought were so fixed and immovable, recede away from us. So that where we find ourselves is no longer the limit of our experience or ability. I could only touch my knees when I began practice, now I can touch my toes. I could only focus for a few seconds when I started, now I can stay in rapt attention for several moments. I barely understood myself before, now I see a divine creature unfolding.

Transform to Self-Knowledge

In yoga, the work involved in our growth is called Tapas. According to yoga philosophy, Tapas is  the pre-qualifier for Swadyaya or self-knowledge. Being at our edge is a great example of experiencing Tapas that will inevitably lead us to understanding ourselves better.

As this edge recedes, we are again provoked by our own potential to take another step closer toward that edge. And again we find ourselves at the familiar relationship and distance with our frontier. Periodically, we may look back to see all the ground we’ve covered. That growth is a nice reminder that we’re moving in the direction of our intention but ultimately secondary to what’s real and present and constant—our commitment to be at the frontier. Our commitment to growth.

Home At The Edge

One day we will realize that this is where we’ve set down our roots, in the paradox of constant movement as we chase our frontier, the eternal growth toward our highest self. We have arrived as we witness our own evolution.

I used to roll around town with a 1″ sticker stuck to the back of my car. It was a nod to the frontier that I hope to arrive at one day, one spoken of by poet Wendell Berry.

 

A Spiritual Journey by Wendell Berry

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Straight Talk With Time

Ravana, the 10-headed demon (Image: Wikipedia)

The ancient and epic poem The Ramayana says that long ago there was a powerful Demon king named Ravana. His power blinded him with pride, deceived him into thinking he was larger than Dharma or Truth. Ravana stole a princess, Sita, Rama’s wife, and a war was waged to get her back.

Blinded By Pride


And though Ravana was often blinded by pride, he was not completely blind to profound understanding. There was a moment before Ravana was to go into battle when in the night, he went up to a great tower, onto the roof of his palace, and suddenly had a great insight regarding time. With this understanding, he felt great freedom, like a band had broken from his chest. He danced for all of the heavens looking on and with his last step felt as though he’d crushed the tight hold with which time had him.

Straight Talk with Time

On his way down the stairs Ravana is confronted by Kala, the god of time. Kala is old and decrepit and wasted like a skeleton. He tells Ravana that soon he will be in time’s power and that Ravana will have to spend the rest of time paying for the sins of his lifetime. 

Ravana listens for a moment then scoffs, “You little liar!”

Kala retorts,”What? You stole Sita and you’ll pay-”

“You are the thief and not I,” said Ravana. “For a few moments’ pleasure you take whole lives in payment. And whatever you give you steal back, by fraud, from hiding, when you’re not watched. Death and misery are your good friends-but you are yourself unreal: you do not exist; you cannot steal from me.”

“Do you know who I am?” cried Kala.

“A marketplace of sorrows,” Replied Ravana

Kala said, “. . . your home is empty your friends have died and all the good times are long gone . . . all must change and die . . . .”


 “We know better than that,” said the Demon King, “Love is eternal and we are beyond your reach. . .  But I must be on my way now, I can’t be late, and my time is far too valuable to waste on anything but daydreams. . . Good love never dies.”
(Buck, pp. 334-9)

What We Need is Here


Despite his faults, Ravana still has the clarity to expose a startling truth: the past has dissolved, the future is an abstraction (has never been, really). All we have is now. We are always in the present. But despite the unreal natures of past and future, we seem to spend a lot of time there. Pining or regretting the past, biding time or biting our nails waiting for the future. What we need is here. What we have is now. I think what we really practice in yoga is presence. Presence with our breath. Presence with our muscles and bones in postures. Presence with other practitioner’s in class. What we pay for when we go to a yoga class isn’t the space, isn’t the time to do yoga, isn’t even necessarily instruction. What we get when we do yoga is a reminder to look inside and experience the timeless, the result of living continuously in the present.


A good friend of mine was sitting one morning in Small Town Coffee House in Kapa’a, Kauai soaking up the morning sun, feeling the tropical sweetness, and savoring a cup of jo when she looked over to the clock on the wall and instead of numbers pointing to the hour, each hour mark read, “Now. Now. Now.” I believe clocks are mostly misunderstood: they only point to now but translate what we read into what has or hasn’t happened, into past or future.


I invite you to enter into the realm of the timeless by being present with something, whether that’s a yoga class, a meditation, a Yoga Nidra meditation or spending the time(less) with your favorite people. We can practice presence at any moment of the day.
 

Poems


 
(Untitled)
 
The birds’ broken cadences through the glass remind me I am here. This moment, tender and fragile, potential for pleasure and loss. This moment, this life, is enough.
 
Celeste Keele
 

What We Need Is Here
 
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
 
Wendell Berry
 

Works Cited:
Buck, William. Ramayana. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1976

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




Something In The Tea

I lived in Korea for a year teaching English and studying meditation. I loved to explore the locals-only part of this fascinating country.

One day a few friends and I wandered into a tea shop in the old part of town. At the back of the shop was a man, dressed in the Han Bok, the traditional Korean habit, who noticed us enter the shop.

Without a word he began to prepare tea. By the time we had swooned over the beautiful tea sets and had made our way to the back of the shop, the water was hot. It wasn’t until we arrived at the back of the narrow shop that we noticed the man sitting on the floor behind a small wooden table.

He motioned for us to join him. Taken aback, yet delighted, we sat on a few cushions lying on the floor in front of the low table.

The man poured the hot water into an ancient pot, its tea-stained cracks shone like the creased face of an elder.

We did not speak each other’s language and sat in a generous pocket of silence as the tea steeped.

After a few minutes, he laid out a few delicate tea cups and performed the proper ceremony to serve us all tea. His concentration and ceremony around pouring the tea felt like he was putting his heart into the tea.

We drank tea.

Small talk was impossible and would have been superfluous. We didn’t even attempt charades.

Several long minutes passed.

After the tea, its taste lingering on our tongues, we rose and humbly bowed to the tea master. He smiled and bowed humbly back.

We left the shop but he has never left our hearts.  

There was something in the tea.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Going Home

What if our soul is, as poet Mary Oliver says, “pure light that shines where no one is”?

In her poem (conveniently titled Poem), Mary Oliver speaks to the notion of the soul like this: “Airy and shapeless thing,/ it needs/ the metaphor of the body. . . to be understood/ to be more than pure light /that burns/ where no one is.”

But the body, metaphor or not, isn’t an obstacle to transcend on the way to something higher, something deeper. Rather it is both the avenue to know the True Self, as well as a knowing in and of itself. Truly the marriage of the form and what animates it, the True Self, is the full picture of the human experience.

I’ve always said that poets are yogis with a pen and wield the same searing awareness as sages. Mary Oliver’s inquiry into the nature of the soul is perfectly aligned with Vedanta, ancient yoga philosophy, which states that we all have several layers or sheaths called kosahs which shroud our True Nature and by practicing awareness to these layers, we come to know what lies beneath. The body isn’t the only metaphor for our True Self. Other koshas, or layers, include our energy body, our thought and emotional body, our subconscious beliefs body, etc.

Vedanta philosophy says that what is real is the True Self and what is false is the koshas. All the koshas, feel very real because we can see, feel, think, or otherwise substantiate them, right?Vedanta says that when we really get down to it, anything that is changeable doesn’t qualify to be the True Self, the part of us that by definition can’t change because it always is.

And here’s the tricky part, even though koshas, the changeable parts of us, aren’t the True Self,  they are the most easily accessible parts to be aware of, and therefore are perhaps the only way in which we can experience and come to know the “pure light” which is awareness itself.

And how does one substantiate that concept? We come to know ourselves through practices like meditation and yoga, dance and love. Practice to listen. Listen to practice.

These koshas are like mummy wrappings. And while not the most “real” part of our being, give us clues at least to what’s underneath, to what is real. For me, yoga is the dance between that pure light True Self and the mummy wrapping outer self. Yoga is finding where those two realms meet and converse. Sometimes we get small glimpses at our pure light and understand the rest of the world with astounding clarity, or at least can appreciate our bodies, emotions, etc.

The hardest work is not to mistake the wrappings for the light, nor detest the wrappings because they aren’t the light. Eventually we stop seeing the mummy’s wrappings and start seeing simultaneously the wrappings and the light.

Then something really magical happens: we look at someone else and see or sense the same light beneath their wrappings of pain, ego, cynicism, or whatever, even if they neither see us or themselves in that same way. This vision into someone else’s light is compassion at its lowest form and Oneness at it’s highest. When we’ve seen ourselves and others from this deeper vantage point, we won’t/can’t go back to not seeing or knowing.

Plus, with this new vision into things as they truly are, we wake up to a beautiful awareness and find heaven in the most ordinary of things, like the breeze on our skin, the smell of garden, or the sound of the music. We become astoundingly and exquisitely aware because that is what we are the pure light of awareness.

One of the oldest mantras is the world is The Gayatri mantra which states, “Everything in the heavens and in the earth and in between is arising from one effulgent source. If my thoughts, words and deeds reflected a complete understanding of this unity, I would be the peace I am seeking in this moment.” It’s just sometimes we forget. We forget our true nature. We forget our source.

Yoga means union and is a practice that literally helps us to re-member, to come back together, body and soul, both individually and collectively, until we realize we are all part of the same big source of vital aliveness. We come to realize that this work is never ending that we will always have to work and continue to refine our ability to see.

When we see a lifetime of work ahead of us, it can sometimes feel a bit daunting.  But here’s the good news: IT FEELS GOOD! It feels good to practice. It feels good to see. It feels good to experience the world with this kind of clarity, especially when balanced with yoga’s two tempering qualities of sukam sthirim, of ease and steadiness.  

 

In her other poem, Bone, Mary Oliver says this:

and what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.

Though I play at the edges of knowing,

truly I know

our part is not knowing,

but looking, and touching, and loving,

which is the way I walked on,

softly,

through the pale-pink morning light.

She says that we will never know. Not truly. But the degree to which we do know is the ability to simply practice of awareness which can happen while looking, touching, loving. This is the essence of our practice, the practice of every-day living.

The conscious crooner Leonard Cohen so eloquently addresses this topic in only the best Leonard Cohen fashion possible. Quirky factoid: from a young age Leonard Cohen has always felt most comfortable wearing a suit. I’m talkin’ full-on jacket and tie 365 days a year. I think his dad was a tailor. In his song Going Home, recorded at 78 years old just a few years before he died, you get the sense that he understands his own imminent mortality as he drops these poetically poignant lines:

I’d like to speak to Leonard

he’s a sportsman and a shepherd.

He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit. . . .

He will speak these words of wisdom

Like a sage, a man of vision

Though he knows he’s really nothing

But the brief elaboration of a tube

Going home

Without my sorrow

Going home

Sometime tomorrow

To where it’s better

Than before

Going home

Without my burden

Going home

Behind the curtain

Going home

Without the costume

That I wore

Leonard Cohen is talking about finally taking off that 3-piece suit but of course is simultaneously talking about shedding the small self, the old rags if you will—body, ego and all that—to see the radiant Self beneath. There’s also a tacit teaching that it’s through the body that we learn to ultimately understand beyond the body. This shedding of the costume could be the enlightenment after a lifetime of lyrical contemplation (in this case set to iambic pentameter none the less!) or perhaps the radical change that happens when we die.

After all, like he notes of himself, aren’t we all physically reduced to the brief elaboration of a tube? Check out this song. Leave it to L.C. to speak to the most sublime holy and eternal part in all of us directly and bluntly while his raspy voice poetically paints the perfect picture with his concise lyrics. Such clarity in vision can only be express with equally clear words, after all language is a philosophy, an art, and a practice in itself.

I invite you to practice dancing between the realm of self and Self. Perhaps this will help us see ourselves and our world more clearly.

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




A Mantra That Stings Like A Bee

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

And so he did. This was Muhammad Ali’s mantra. Perhaps yoga and mindfulness isn’t often associated with Muhammad Ali, yoga’s first principle of non-harming and all that, but he was someone who was particularly adroit in his use of the yogic principle of mantra and visualization. His iconic mantra has become synonymous with a champion. What is the power of mantra and visualization and how can they be used to mold reality like they did for  Muhammad Ali, and how can we use these tools to achieve our dreams?

 

Writing the Script on Reality

Although his mantra practically became his sonic name tag, it wasn’t just a pithy phrase he liked to throw around because it was catchy; it wasn’t his slogan or his attempt at branding himself. Maybe few understood that Ali’s mantra was his access point into his deep inner-source that believed he would be the boxing heavyweight champion of the world. Saying it over and over again was his craft, the practice of helping the logical part of his mind both believe and expect this belief to become reality.

In addition to using his mantra, Muhammad Ali visualized over and over his fight with Sonny Liston where he would win the heavyweight championship. He saw himself win the title thousands of times in his head before ever stepping into the ring. By the time he stepped into the ring, all that was left to do was the final step, the physical practice of what he already knew was true. And Muhammad Ali isn’t alone. It was like he theatre of life—he knew the script and on opening night he simply needed to go on stage and perform the play.

It reminds me of a story in the Hindu scripture, The Bhagavad Gita, where the God-turned-mortal Krishna is instructing the warrior prince Arjuna about his duty to fight in an epic battle. At Arjuna’s reluctance, Krishna pulls him aside and informs him that truth and time is not so linear and that the battle has already been fought and won. Knowing this, Krishna told Arujuna that the important thing is that he must go out there and fulfill his dharma, his destiny. Similar to what Ali told himself through visualization and mantra, Krishna told Arjuna to tap into the source of belief of what was already true.

 

Thought Precedes Form

Many psychologists and neuroscientists will affirm that despite our trust in it, our mind isn’t necessarily the best preceptor of reality; it’s readily subject to prejudice, interpretations, and misapprehension. In yoga philosophy the name for this misapprehension is Avidya, the opposite of clear seeing. Like modern brain science suggests, two people might see the same facts and both have wildly different beliefs about translating those facts. They might even debate what is real. Thus our mind is subject to our own personal beliefs and prejudices. Our mind creates a “reality” from a dizzying array of options suggested by our perceptions, interpretations, and desires. This subjectivity tugs at the very fabric the notion of reality.

Yoga suggests that since our beliefs are so powerful in contributing to our reality, we can use things like mantras and visualization to help us create our reality, perhaps like Muhammad Ali and Arjuna, a reality that somehow in our hearts what we know is already true. We have a bigger part to play in creating our reality than we think. Mantra and visualizations can help.

Beliefs change all the time. One minute you believe in the Tooth Fairy and the next you don’t.  In Vedanta, a school of yogic philosophy, the sheath or layer of our being that negotiates beliefs, both conscious and subconscious, is called the Vignana Mayakosha. Yeah, it’s a crazy name this part of our being is perhaps more powerful than we sometimes give it credit.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, an internationally recognized biologist and author who works to bridge science and spirit, says that 95% of our decision making comes from our subconscious. If we can learn to source and even manipulate our subconscious, there’s no telling what power we might have over our own world. Visualizations and mantra are two very effective and powerful ways of shaping our world. Muhammad  Ali powerfully demonstrated his ability mold his reality of being the heavyweight champion of the world using mantra and visualization. 

 

The Power of Words

Words are powerful. Religious texts like The Bible even says that “In the beginning was the Word  . . . and the Word was God.” In the Hindu scripture, The Yoga Sutras, the principle of Satya or truth is the second highest principle behind non-harming because of the power of words. For longer than recorded history, magic, mythic, and religious traditions have regarded certain words, whether vocalized or thought, as both sacred and powerful. I heard one of my yoga teachers, Judeth Lasater, say, “What is worrying but praying for what you don’t want.” Thus is the power of thoughts and words.

So put words to the test. I invite you to choose those words that, like Muhammad Ali, like Arjuna, will manifest your sacred destiny. And I invite you to find a way of reciting them to manifest their power in your life. Maybe you know already your mantra, what words you need to evoke for you to live into your true destiny. Perhaps words like: Power, Clarity, Forgiveness, Strength, etc. Maybe you need to discover what your mantra is.

I invite you to do a meditation in order to distill your clarity on which words are right for you. This meditation doesn’t have to come by spending months in the desert in deep contemplation. Rather, maybe 10 minutes concentrating on clearly answering a few questions for yourself. You’ll know it when it comes. Maybe it will take a few days of meditating for a few minutes each day.

Here’s the mantra-finding process: First, ask yourself what has been reoccurring in your life recently as a theme that you need to pay attention to. Another way to answer this question is to think about what ways the Universe is asking you to grow right now—what challenges are presenting themselves to you now, asking you to grow? Next, don’t allow your thinking mind to take over, here, but rather let the answer to this next question be instinct, the first thing that comes to mind: What does your heart know is your purpose for this world? Distill the answer to these questions down to a phrase or maybe even one word (don’t worry, you can change it if you need to, you don’t have to marry that word for life) but allow yourself to use that word or phrase as your powerful catalyst forward to what you already believe about yourself.

Then, if you’re inclined, grab a mala (you can get these at any crystal and incese, dragon and rainbows shop). They are beaded necklaces with 108 beads on them. The Mala’s will usually have a tassel on them representing the beginning and the end. Hold the mala on the first bead between your right thumb and middle finger, just beyond the tassel. In your mind or aloud, repeat your word or phrase then move to the next bead. Do this over and over again until you come to the end of the mala. If it’s short and you’d like a longer meditation, turn the mala around and repeat the mantra going the other way on the mala until you come back to the tassel. After your meditation watch to see how you see the world differently and how you live into the beliefs that you bring to your mind through mantra.

In addition to discovering your mantra, create a visualization where you see yourself perform what you’d like to arrive for yourself over and over. Remember to use all of your senses and think about it happening in the moment, instead of dreaming for a future. The part of our brain and the part of our consciousness that we are accessing only understand now. Spend a few minutes in visualization to see yourself succeed and just like Muhammad Ali, become the champion of your world.

If you’re interested in a free relaxing Beach Paradise visualization, please visit my website.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




Braving the Frontier

Whether we are new or seasoned practitioners, our objective in practice is always the same: to step up to the the comfortable relationship with our edge. That invitation to step to our edge is so provocative! It suggests leaving the comfort of what we know and move toward our yet unknown greatness.

I like the word “frontier.” In my mind, it conjures images of rugged people working with the land and wrestling with the unknown, growing and learning and being present with a life that is bigger than them but in which they play a part. The word “frontier” suggests perhaps our edge, our limit of experience or ability. It is the place which we have never been.

I think that whether you are working at a frontier of mindfulness, spirituality, or physicality, to place yourself at that edge of your experience is to truly live. Being at the edge isn’t always easy but it is always real.

Image source: Pixabay

Simply being at our edge, we become stronger, literally in the case of asanas, but in every aspect of living, we find ourselves more and more able to sit in the heat of our own growth and the inevitable unfolding of the unknown. Because we have to be observant at that edge, we will notice the miracle of what we’ve created by being there. It’s the miracle of watching our frontier, limitations we thought were so fixed and immovable, recede away from us. So that where we find ourselves is no longer the limit of our experience or ability. I could only touch my knees when I began practice, now I can touch my toes. I could only focus for a few seconds when I started, now I can stay in rapt attention for several moments. I barely understood myself before, now I see a divine creature unfolding.


As this edge recedes, we are again provoked by our own potential to take another step closer toward that edge. And again we find ourselves at the familiar relationship and distance with our frontier. Periodically, we may look back to see all the ground we’ve covered. That growth is a nice reminder that we’re moving in the direction of our intention but ultimately secondary to what’s real and present and constant–our commitment to be at the frontier. Our commitment to growth.

Until one day we realize that this is where we’ve set down our roots, in the paradox of constant movement as we chase our frontier, the eternal growth toward our highest self. We have arrived as we witness our own evolution.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program