My Yoga Journey, Part 3: Meditation

Plough or Halasana

I stumbled into the next profound moment of my yoga journey. While I’ve always been quite amiable to the idea of “doing nothing”, meditation is not “doing nothing”, though it disguises itself that way. Whatever meditation may be, it was something that had eluded me in my college days, and it wasn’t something I revisited past my college classes on Zen Buddhism. But somehow it found me, during asana.

To back up a bit – there was a point in my life where I went from practicing on & off to more days a week than not. My yoga practice became, during this time, my happy place, my place of focus. My place to let the stress fall away. My way to shut off my mind after work. A mind which, at this point, was racing all of the time. I had made a point to come home from work, spend 1 to 2 hours on my mat, and say, “This is my break point. My reset button. I will not work anymore tonight.” I was trying to shift gears from the racing mind and the stress of work so I could reset myself for the coming day.

At this point, my body was no longer in its 20s. My weight bounced between 150 and 160 pounds. My feet no longer touched my head in cobra, and forget about a full expression of the Sivananda locust pose. But it was at this point I began to find a clarity in my poses. My mind indeed stopped racing. First it found focus in the poses, but then, little flashes would penetrate the stillness that had developed in my mind, mirroring my body’s stillness. Sometimes these flashes manifested themselves as colors or shapes. Other times, funny little images would pop into my mind from out of nowhere. Like a bunch of fairies, bathed in an orange light, struggling to lift an om symbol higher, higher, higher. I didn’t quite know what to make of these fleeting images, so I just observed.

Only later, as I reflect on this time of change in my practice and my life that I begin to realize these moments for what they were – fleeting meditative states. Moments where I was able to distance myself from so-called reality and tap into something else, something that seemed to be more, or at the least, different. And fleeting these moments are. At that point in my life they were plentiful, now they’re few and far between. Of course, I want to chase them, to experience more, but chasing this fleeting image gets one no where. When I can settle in and just be, when I need that moment and am ready to experience it, those fleeting images come back around.

Learn more about my yoga journey: Read Part 1: Discovery, Part 2: Music, and Part 4: Aerial Yoga.

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