It’s only an idea
In April we visited Narain Ishaya on the Isle of Man. He was giving a weekend retreat there. I was to teach yoga on the Friday. In my class Jill related that both her parents had broken their backs and that she had grown up with the idea that it was most likely to happen to her. This fearful belief limited her and when asked to move into a forward bend, Jill seemed to get stuck half way, she was not releasing the body forward. When in standing postures I asked the class of proficient students to release the body forward over the thighs, Jill stopped half way parallel to the floor, even her neck was rigid. I asked her to try again and just flop forward on an exhalation, but her body was held by the belief that she was going to hurt her back, she could not let go. The idea she held was so ingrained in her mind that she believed she needed to hold her back rigidly to protect it from this impending break. She was unable to unlock the idea and release forward.
We all have fear locked in our bodies, restricting us. Ideas based on the past.
These limitations in the mind show up in the body’s limitations – inherited, taught, copied.
They can hold us in a prison. The body can do nothing without the permission of the mind. When we see that we are not the body and that it is only an idea that is limiting us, we can change our minds and let go, giving the body a chance to be free from these restricting ideas.
It’s easy for me, standing at the front of a class to see that here is a class of able bodies and that the restrictions are in the mind. Not so easy to see my own though!
The next day we met to talk with Narain Ishaya and Jill said that she saw it was just an idea that held her back, but she saw a lot more too; how her ideas, beliefs and opinions can hide the truth – that in truth we are free. Jill was released and performed a beautiful uttanasana.
As soon as we step outside our senses can open; our vista widens, our ears open to the new sounds and we feel the air on our skin. It’s good to be outside, absorb as much blue sky and sun as you can. It’s not a good idea to practice in the sun. if you have been sunbathing please don’t go up in sirsasana, it can cause too much heat and blood to go to the head. Leave a space of 3 or 4 hours before practicing upside down asanas. Forward bends are cooling and pranayama which extends the kumbhaka at the bottom of your exhalation. Kumbhaka is the interval of time or retention at the end of inhalation or at the end of exhalation.
I hope to see some of you this Saturday at the day of yoga and talks at the Theosophical Society – 9.30-3.30 50 Gloucester Place, W1U 8EA