When you attend a Yoga class you will be asked to remove your shoes and leave them outside the class.
Yes it free’s your feet from boots and shoes and your feet enjoy that. I begin my classes with relaxation saying something like – “When you are nestled on the mat your legs stretched out, arms resting by your sides, head and neck relaxing, back sinking into the mat.
Legs relaxed and heavy, feet flopped apart, heels turned inward toes dropping out, your whole body relaxed.”
You get the idea, Hatha Yoga classes are a balance between stillness and movement so the relaxation aspect is as important as the movement. A balance needs to be achieved.
Removing your shoes symbolises, removing the world,with all its hurry and rush. And so you leave your shoes outside the class, the world of movement and activity remain outside the Yoga class.
I invite you to also leave your mind, for a brief time outside the door.
Mind filled to overflowing with war-ing concepts,often only knowing stillness in sleep.
To lead a balanced life we need time in our day to remove mind from the mental hurry and rush. We need space, the mind needs to open like the petals of the lotus. Often when we sitting in meditation, the thoughts that arise are self-destructive, critical, even cruel and these thoughts, the inner critic, rise to the surface. Understand these thoughts surface to be healed so then we can become the observer observing our inner war. Meditation can free us from the internal wrangling and pain.
Step one is the awareness. Just think, yes this is a thought that is arising, just a thought and then a new thought will arise. Simply observe this.
As the tides flow so the mind flows.
As day follows night, sun rises and sets, nature flows in her own rhythm and so we must harness the rhythm of mind and bring it back to its place of peace and calm and by doing so we reap the benefits, that flow into a wider life. (At one particularly stressful time in my life I used Meditation and prana breath practice to lower my cholesterol.)
Life that feels more joyful, as you relax into every situation it is not as fearful, meeting new people is no longer frightening, anxieties lowered, blood pressure remains low and each day becomes more exciting and interesting.
The side effects of meditation are like removing your shoes, allowing your toes to wiggle and be free unconfined and innocent. And so mind finds it has not to fight, no battles to win no armies to muster and no enemies to slay. We can understand that each person has his or her internal dragon’s that they must slay, they’re own internal stockpile of weapons and enemies.
Meditation teaches us compassion and the side-effect is a life of joy and peace.