5 Yoga Tactics to Elevate Every Moment
In each moment there can be beauty. In every experience there can be mysticism. It all begins with noticing. Read on for five yoga tactics to elevate every moment.
In Tantra, everything is sacred. The air you’re breathing. The device you’re reading this on. The challenges you faced today. Matter meets spirit. Life unfolds as sadhana.
Elevating each moment begins with the recognition that all moments are sacred. And we can also get much more practical.
##5 Yoga Tactics to Elevate Every Moment
1. See the magic in the mundane.
You are here. You are alive. You are inhaling each new moment and exhaling the one that came before. You are fueled with awareness, a force of nature. Carrying within you the innate capacity for infinite possibilities. Free to choose.
Life is your canvas. You get to paint it any color that you like. Isn’t that kinda magic?
2. Live in your body—not your head.
The purpose of yoga asana is to still the movement of our mind. From this simple teaching we understand that the mind is not the ideal place to live from. Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and probably even Oprah would agree.
To get out of our head and into our body is simple. We begin to feel our body. Beyond thought. Beyond emotion. Physical sensation. We notice what’s there, without judgement but with great compassion and curiosity. And we begin to emerge into a landscape guided by acceptance.
3. Experience your senses.
We’re gifted with our sense of taste, smell, hearing, seeing, and touch. We are innately able to deeply experience each moment. Each pleasure. Each pain. All equal. All sacred.
When we shift our awareness to what we can taste, smell, hear, see and feel, we shift from worry or fantasy about the future. We drop away from clinging to the past. And enter into the only moment we ever have. The one we’re living right now. And it becomes a thing of beauty, because we fully recognize and live what’s happening.
4. Presence. Aka: Being in the now.
In the now, we move from past remembrances and future fears or fantasies into the moment we’re in. This is a moment saturated with sensation. Rich in subtleties.
In this moment, we shift from ego to atman. Anchored in our senses and in our body, we begin to travel inward, traversing the five koshas or sheaths that cradle the Self: the physical body, mental emotional body, energy body, wisdom body and bliss body.
In the bliss body we are light. The wisdom body guides us. The energy body sustains us. The mental-emotional body helps us process our life. And the physical body carries us.
In the now, we can access bliss because becoming deeply present takes us beyond our physical body and the other koshas, and brings us there.
5. Transforming from within.
When we notice what is within us and accept it all, we begin to see how we create our experiences. By exploring without judgement we see how our reactions in our mental-emotional body dictate how we perceive what happens. And we realize we can change things.
We start within our own selves. By feeling what we feel and dropping out of thought we arrive at a place of peace. And from that place we can move forward. No longer hindered by old limiting beliefs. No longer shackled by ancient misperceptions. We are free to create what we desire.
And we begin by creating the feeling of it within ourselves.
Why Does Your Mala Necklace Have 108 Beads?
From the yoga studio to a night on the town, people are donning mala bead necklaces around the globe. However, this trend is steeped in meaningful tradition and symbolism. Each mala necklace has 108 beads, and each bead evokes an energetic frequency based on its material, whether stone or seed.
What is the Significance of 108?
The number 108 has a range of significance across many different cultures and disciplines. For example, this number informs the architecture of sacred texts that are central to yoga and eastern philosophy. As a devoted scholar of yoga and tantra, Shiva Rea explains in Tending the Heart Fire, “there are 108 chapters of the Rig Veda, 108 Upanishads and 108 primary Tantras.” And these texts are written in Sanskrit, a language comprising 54 letters, each with a masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) form, 54 x 2 = 108. Listed below are just a few of the many relationships that carry this number.
Ayurveda and Other Religions
In in the field of Ayurveda, there are 108 sacred places, or marmas, in the body, identifying intersections of matter and consciousness. When manipulated, these points can awaken and align the vital energy. Members of the Vedic tradition see this number as denoting the wholeness of the universe: one represents the solar masculine, zero represents the lunar feminine and eight represents the infinite nature of all things. In the classic japa mala, used in Buddhism and Hinduism, there are 108 beads used for prayer and mantra.
Mathematics and Astronomy
Mathematicians favor the number 108 for its countless patterns and potential divisions. For example, it is divisible by the sum of its parts and most of its proper divisors, making it a semi-perfect number. Through the lens of astronomy, the diameter of the sun is approximately 108 times that of earth and the distance from our planet to its solar star is, on average, 108 times the diameter of the sun. A similar parallel relationship also exists between the earth and the moon.
What is a Mala?
A mala, meaning garland in Sanskrit, evokes a circular, continuous form. In practice, a mala is the devoted offering of repeated cycles (typically in divisors of 108) of mantra japa or yoga asana. Within a mala, there is always a sense of beginning, continuing and completion. Both inside each individual cycle and in the practice as a whole. This three-form (trimurti) quality allows us to embody, in practice, the rhythmic cycles ever-present in the natural universe: creation (srishti), sustaining (sthiti) and destruction (samhara).