Conscious choice is not limited to a practice like yoga but infiltrates all areas of one's life.
I often get asked about the kind of yoga I teach. “Do you teach ‘hot' yoga?” a gentleman asked at a get together. “No, Classical Yoga,” I replied. To that, he remarked, “So you teachsurya(sun)namaskars”.
Yes I do, but that is only one aspect of classical yoga. It is a tool to help one realise the divinity shining through the sun and through us. It is a practice to help us expand our limited perceptions. When I wake up in the morning and practise the surya namaskars, the message I am sending to every cell in my body is that I choose to awaken to them, the sun or light nature or their innate divinity. By doing the practise I am letting go of trauma that is stored in the body that prevents me from resonating with light. Trauma is like dust that can cloud a clear mirror. The practice is the removal of that dust. So each time we do the practise consciously and not mechanically we are clearing away another layer of clouding and emotional debris that prevents us from seeing our true potential.
This conscious choice is not limited to doing a practice like thesurya namaskarin the morning but infiltrates all areas of one's life.
If I crave chocolate cake I know the regular ones in the market are not the optimum food for my body. I choose to source something that minimises the imbalance it will cause in my system or, even better, will enhance my system.
I made an organic chocolate dip and got strawberries for one of my yoga workshops in Vancouver to allow those attending to see that a healthier life is not a boring life. After the workshop there were more questions regarding the recipe than the yoga philosophy.
Soulfully sinful/To dip in healthy chocolate/Tell me the recipe/Many chocoholics ask me/Organic Dates and carob powder are the base/A pinch of Cardamom and cinnamon to taste/And a spoon of coconut oil or butter/To help cream and emulsify/That's all it takes/For divinity to touch ones tongue/Oh the beauty of simple things/And the satisfaction in healthy fun
Grind pitted organic dates (preferably 10 to 15 soft kareem dates depending on how sweet you want the sauce to be) with water. Then add 4-5 tablespoons of organic carob powder or cocoa powder. Be aware that cocoa powder has caffeine, as well as other mild stimulants and is unhealthy in excess. However, it has many antioxidants in its raw form and flavanoids to lower blood pressure. Blend with more water if needed. Add organic coconut oil or butter and spices and blend some more.
Why organic? If you had the choice why slow poison yourself and the environment with pesticides and fertilizers.
So one part of the story is to choose wisely; the other is to make the choices step by step so one is also making the process enjoyable for oneself.
Conscious choices are not limited to any one particular area of our life.Conscious Choices start with being aware and choosing what you drink and encompasses all you are involved in including how you process and deal with emotions as well as what you think.
As we grow on the yoga path, it is not just our bodies that are developed; it is the discernment to make the right choices that are honed. In this article we saw a chocolate sauce recipe instead of the usualasanaorkriya. This is so that we understand that choosing asattvic(ease and peace) life is as much a part of the yoga life as doing the practice.
The simplicity and beauty of the yoga life
When one makes evolutionary and harmonious choices, one's life becomes simpler and more peaceful. There is more ease and flow. One becomes more disciplined because one wants to and enjoys it rather than because one is forced to.
I wrote this poem for children about shifting for the better. However the child in all of us can benefit from it. It is never too late to re-parent ourselves. Let's celebrate the child in all of us.
Why should I?
Why should I brush my teeth
Why must I chew and eat
Why should I bathe every day
Open my heart, be realistic and gay
All the time,
Why should I care
Why should I dare
To follow my dreams
Why should I travel
It's pointless to force
So I'd rather choose
And WANT to share
Than HAVE TO do
And then get upset and mad
So I choose to brush
As I love my healthy teeth
And there is a big possibility
That brushing prevents cavities
I want to digest my food and thoughts
I want a robust life and heart
To share and care and multiply
In joy , wisdom and give my time
To create more love
To create more peace
In the world
And within me.
And if I need to cry
If I find
I cannot smile
I'll work the muscles
In my mind
To simply enjoy and evolve
Now and Today
Yogacharini Maitreyi is a practical mystic who teaches yoga and creates conscious community around the world. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org; www.arkaya.net