National Yoga Month: Dhyana & Samadhi
What a lovely way to wrap up National Yoga Month: dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (union with the divine). This is the heart of the yoga practice-- to sit and meditate and connect to something greater than yourself. One of my yoga teachers described the eight limbs of yoga not as a ladder that is reaching towards samadhi, but as a wheel that you can enter and experience at any point, and all the other limbs can bring you to samadhi, at the center. Which begs the question, what, exactly is at that center? What is at YOUR center? What does it take for you to feel most alive and connected? Asana? Working out? Serving others? Being in nature? They are all right answers, and I think we all owe it to ourselves to go on this inward journey to discover what makes us feel most fruitful and most at peace so we can shine that back out and become a positive, loving influence on the world around us.
I'll wrap this up by sharing some words from my teacher, Erich Schiffmann, from his book Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness
"Imagine a spinning top. Stillness is like a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. It appears this way not because it isn’t moving, but because it’s spinning at full speed. Stillness is not the absence or negation of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in – when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing."