FOR CREATIVE CALM & CLARITY,
I JUST NEED THE WISDOM OF *ONE* POSE
You know this: the more you read about self-care, personal growth & spiritual practice, without actually using the tools, the hungrier you become. Most Western & "modern" people are like this, hungry ghosts, that feel they must purchase & consume the "basics" to make life feel right: plastic garbage bins for every bathroom, kitchen gadgets, regular haircuts, mass-produced clothing, a new car every few years. Or maybe it is accolades: degrees, awards, trophies, mentions, likes, & general reputation. There's an unconscious image we keep, fed by the media, of what it means to be a grown-up, & it's a little different for all of us. If we are seekers, then it's about being evolved, transformed, or enlightened. We are measuring peace, along with mastery of yoga asanas & meditation minutes logged. We are measuring green smoothies, happy children, wholesome romance. Generally we see ourselves as falling short, or close, but still dependent on purchases.
So it's easy to become personal growth junkies. We love to consume answers, instead of grounding inward, anchoring to our own experience. We take in massive amounts of books, teachers, audios & videos. But there's so much of it, now, & our brains are overfull. We also have much shorter attention spans. We lose the information as fast as we take it in!
DON'T TAKE IN SO MUCH.
This is why we offer simple, sweet, easy & accessible tools. I've had a personal yoga practice since I was a teenager, & it tends to be fast + dance-like, because I was *once* a dancer. You would think that I always seek out the next-level work out. >Sometimes< I do, I need that. But for creative calm & clarity, I just need the wisdom of *one* pose.
This week, for me, it's about heart-opening. I need to open my heart to new possibilities for myself. To the everyday efforts, goodness & suffering of those who surround me. To receive the love & contribution that pours out of my friends & family. I need to open my heart to strengthen my heart. So that I can see the great*fullness of this beautiful life, & be neutral to the rollercoasters that are not my own. So that I can choose the ones I ride. So that I can choose when to get off. A heart-opening pose, one that has me open + lift my chest to the sky, allows me to process the stagnant emotions that no longer want to sit in my muscle tissue. It helps to prepare my womb, to hold whatever new projects & possibilities I am wanting to grow. It's purifying.
EVERY POSE IS PURIFYING.
So let yourself indulge in just one pose each week - even if you have a full practice. Let your body tell you which pose has the most *bliss* in it. And live with it for the week. Let it work it's magic.
October 11 is the United Nations-designated International Day of the Girl. Women around the world still battle issues of gender inequality and subjugation. According to the UN, empowering women and making an investment in girls helps to break cycle of discrimination and violence by promoting effective enjoyment of their human rights. Many grassroots organizations like theAfrica Yoga Project and the Studio Samuel Foundation are already spearheading this movement, providing education, health and fitness, to progress opportunities for girls that they might not have had otherwise. Below is a body of work by renowned yoga photographer Robert Sturman, showcasing women around the world celebrating bodies, freedom, and movement.
For me, a work of art that evokes the feeling that there is something right in this world, is a successful work of art. And, when that occurs, I will sit back for a few minutes and appreciate it, and then begin pursuit of the next one. Here are 21 yoga images from around the world that inspire artistic wonder, but also commemorate the importance of equality for women and girls, everywhere. – Robert Sturman
A dedicated yoga practitioner himself, Sturman‘s work has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansiveness of Malibu’s beaches and canyons, the timeless elegance of Walden’s New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. In Sturman’s own words “I often think of Rumi: ‘I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.’ That feels right to me.”