“When we are attentive to our actions we are not prisoners to our habits; we do not need to do something today simply because we did it yesterday. Instead there is the possibility of considering our actions fresh and so avoiding thoughtless repetition.”
T.S.V. Desisachar, The Heart of Yoga (Loc 518)
Day 303 – Rolf describes our inner being, the place in which “the world abounds.” I continue to work out how asana, pranayama, and meditation access this and which I should do on any given morning to access my “mysterious inner guide.” Rolf describes pratyhara, self-study, as “the moment in yoga when we decide to let our answers come from within.”
Rolf explains that in asana “we embody inspiration, in meditation we allow inspiration, and in prayer we commune with inspiration.” He comes from a place of recovery and a 12-step program and thus believes that this inner place is accessed through turning one’s will and lives over to the care of (G)od. And, so I guess, I can see that this conversation will lead to inevitable godtalk and here I have resistance–as always, having encountered this everywhere since I was old enough to ask questions. Now, I ask them of myself.
If divinity is within each of us (and I believe it is) and we carry around this mysterious inner guide along with habits and traumas and beliefs that cloud our knowing and seeing, why is calling it g(od) necessary? When I encounter this within, will I assign it a name? What if it is the Great Blue Bunny or a transgender pirate? Won’t my mind do tricks on me, and isn’t that the true nature of our predicament?
In any case, right now there are no answers for me at this moment, only questions. I woke up, read a little bit, listened to a podcast on ligaments, fascia, myofascia, and muscles while washing the dishes, and chose a short pranayama practice (trying to incorporate bandhas) with a little rolling and stretching for “these old bones.” Pranayama calmed and centered me.
I don’t see where prayer enters into my yoga conversation and pratyahara. I don’t feel like meditation is prayer–nor should be followed by prayer, and I believe in prayer, but not in the sense of praying to some external or internal (g)od. I think more of prayer as a way to evoke or invoke intentions and manifest a positive outcome. I believe words do have power and I believe there is power in most people’s g(od)/s. In any case, pratyahara feels a bit more like shadow work.