I’ve taken a recent liking towards photography, it has opened my eyes to explore Paris’ beauty. All the sudden I am no longer walking towards something, I’m within the moment, observing. I listen to sounds around me and smile at the beauty I thought I’d never find inside a gutter down some back alley. I have been living here for 2 years now and there is no doubt that Paris is incredibly generous in its’ richness of architecture and carefully manicured gardens, yet it is easy to get caught up in the spiral of stresses this city also has to offer. In this spiral, our minds are focused on the suffering around us, I see and absorb people’s annoyance and irritability towards one an other. Certainly practicing yoga tunes that out for a while, I take the metro home high on the fruits of my practice and will usually ride those delightful waves for quite some time. For most of us, this ‘high’ and feeling of inner connectivity does eventually wear off when you find yourself running around the city trying to get wherever you need to go.
With my iPhone in hand, I sent an intension to observe whatever there is to see. When you take that position you are no longer a victim of the surroundings, your Being is processing, questioning and expanding. You are not “above” others, on the contrary, you are “among” the people and space around you, watching this moment for whatever it has to bring. I can be walking along the same path every morning and by taking a step back to really see my environment, it’ll be different every time.
On the yoga mat, it is equally crucial to practice with awareness to a point where we can step back and observe our being through the asana practice. This sensitivity begins to involve innovation and improvisation, where today’s Downward Facing Dog can be different from yesterdays. You are now watching over your practice, your intellectual body, or manomaya kosha, can now begin to constructively question the posture towards progress. “Is there anything new from what I did yesterday?” “How can I make it different?” “What internal shifts need to take place in order to reach freedom in the pose?” Be curious and playful through your yoga journey. Setting a long term goal and daily intensions to nurture our goal is an important part practicing with awareness. Let us be sensitive enough to enjoy the path towards our goals.