Growing a Life Practice
Planting a tree is an act of optimism. You do it with a sense of trust in the future. You nurture the seed with hope, faith, and care Ė and protect it against the elements. Then you let it grow. Growth happens naturally. You never push something to grow. The proper way to grow is by releasing growth.
Plant your tree when you begin to practice. (Most people think of practice as something you do. You practice the violin; you practice dancing the tango; you practice hitting golf balls. But the word practice is also a noun. In this kind of practice it isnít something you do, it is something you have. A practice is anything you keep on learning or doing on a regular basis that becomes an integral part of your life.)
So, plant your tree when you begin your practice. Do it again and again, in manageable ways, and observe the details of your life. In time, a new green
shoot will come up — you will have an insight, calm your anxious mind, or feel at peace with a challenging decision. Before long, a delicate new flower or fruit will appear. Just start enjoying the glorious fruit, or smelling the wondrous flower, and go on with the rest of your life. Have faith throughout the summer, fall, winter, and spring, and allow your seeds to germinate and grow.
The message of yoga is simple: You have it in you. Everything you need is right there. All you need to do is to find out what it is by recognizing the possibility that there is something there inside, and then make a serious attempt to find it. But you have to change your direction from searching outside, and go within. What is on the inside is much more trustworthy than anything outside. True strength is in knowing who you are.
Let the seeds of your life grow everywhere. Slowly, as your inner forces
gather, a tree will form that will radiate outward and pervade the air. This is the tree that is your life. It is a beautiful achievement, a metamorphosis. And as you continue to unfold, and become conscious of greater dimensions of wholeness, you will realize that this great infinite reservoir inside you has been there the whole time.
Yoga goes deep. It is not just on the surface. Yoga is the surface, and yoga is the water, the depth, and the bottom — all at the same time. Yoga is the entire thing, the whole enchilada.
If you want a contemporary venue for putting together an ongoing practice for life — yoga is it. Yoga is an ancient, insightful, and thought-provoking art, and an offering and gift the moment you take it to heart.
(Excerpt from: Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind by Bija Bennett)
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