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.
Summer Solstice: Rhythm and Ritual Through Yoga
With every passing year, the world’s seasons reveal the environmental evidence of a planet that breathes. Mirroring natural periods of warming and cooling that result from our changing position relative to the sun, our living earth completes one cycle of respiration over the course of a single year.
As witnesses to this faithful pattern, we are invited to remember the intimate relationship we have with our home in the universe – each one of us embodied cosmos, completing this identical sacred cycle of birth and death with every breath. Particularly in these times of seasonal transition, may we allow ourselves to be breathed by mama Gaia, the benevolent mother earth, as we consider the seasonal progression of internal time illuminated by our own breathwave.
The Stillness of a Star: Observing a Cosmic Pause
The word solstice comes from the Latin roots sol, meaning sun, and stitium, meaning to stop or be still. With unassuming clarity, these etymological elements describe the precise moment of a solstice when our radiant solar star appears to pause in the sky as its trajectory undergoes a perceived directional shift. This cosmic pause welcomes our attention as we prepare to enter the next cycle of our planet’s breathwave.
While the perceived stopping of the sun is what defines a solstice on the basis of perception, the astronomical underpinning of such an event is actually the tilt of the earth’s axis. When our planet reaches the point along its orbit where its axial tilt is most inclined toward the sun, we experience the summer solstice. Bowing to the ultimate source of sustenance, the earth humbly receives this blessing of solar energy like a flower leaning toward the light.
On the day of the solstice, while traveling at 108,000 km/hr around our system’s center, we perceive the longest path of our sun through the sky as it arcs toward its northernmost position from the equator.
In other words, we enjoy the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer season.
The Summer Swoon
The summer solstice celebrates the apex of light and sunshine continues to triumph over shadow during this season. Common to both ancient and modern cultures, the sundry interpretations of this celestial event underscore a deep gratitude and honoring of the earth.
Whether venerating the feminine, yin energy in Chinese tradition, hailing the rise of the brightest summer star, Sirius, in Egypt, celebrating the personified fertility goddess, Epona, in Celtic tradition, or praising the god of agriculture during Kronia in Greece, the underlying spirit of summer is one of emergence, purification and potency.
Though we may not always consciously observe these time-honored traditions in the bustle of modern daily life, there is something undeniably special about summertime, it’s the summer swoon.
From a young age, I remember equating long summer days with more freedom. With a sliding curfew that was defined by the street lights coming on, more daylight meant I stayed outside longer, swimming until my fingers were pruney and chasing lightning bugs at dusk. In my adult life, the sacred sway of summer means less hurry, less service to time and more relaxation by virtue of a generous sun that descends more slowly in the evening hours. The whole world seems to participate in this seasonal summer sigh, expanding into the light as we approach the halfway point on our journey around the sun. It is a natural time for reflection and the effortless joy that comes with living in rhythm.