Ara Wiseman

Month: September 2012

Forgiveness In Yoga Practice

Forgiveness In Yoga Practice

When we approach the idea of forgiveness in the context of yoga and meditation, a good place to start would be Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. These sutras were written in a precise fashion as pearls of wisdom strung together by an invisible thread of realized Truth. Meditation seems to be the most efficient way of accessing such depths of vision regarding this vast panorama of human experience. From birth to death, there are ample opportunities to live fully in the present and thus realize the Self in ourselves and others. This realization is the stepping stone to actually master our mundane world, transform it into a magical life. Sounds far out? Here are some practical approaches. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2:33: “When obstructive thoughts arise, practice the opposite thought.” What an unlikely proposition! Somebody hurts your feelings and you are supposed to think of their feelings and well being. This can really bring us to a different level of understanding. Ordinarily we pretty much react, retaliate, and have an attachment to the opinions of others. We define ourselves by what others say or imply. Instead we could simply detach ourselves from this superficial existence, and delve into a much more centered, non-judgemental, non-competitive way of living and interacting with others. Then, as judgement, competition, and comparison drop, so does our ego and the need to defend it. Egolessness. Now that is true forgiveness! When in the yoga room, we must truly stop comparing, competing and judging ourselves and others. That is the way to complete forgiveness. Coming to terms with our true abilities and embracing this opportunity to be present and to live a marvellous life. If the neighbour beside us is tipping over, dancing around in trying to hold a balancing pose, or the other neighbour visibly and audibly is having a rough time with yoga, send an inner or even an outer smile to them, let them know, we care and support their effort. There might be a super agile yoga princess right in front of you, performing each pose with an impeccable precision and grace. You can just observe and admire, sending a smile, letting her know she is noticed, but no comparison. Forgiveness on the yoga mat also entails a loving attitude towards our own weaknesses, perceived faults and lack of stamina. We must come to terms with our only gift: the present moment, focusing on happiness, centered in detachment from public opinions. A lovely, but challenging pose to test anyone’s patience and all forgiving love is Warrior III and the Poet poses. Shall we try it? Stand near the back end of the mat, raise your arms, and step forward one huge step with the right leg. Immediately raise the left leg to hip height, parallel to the floor, at the same time lowering the arms and torso also parallel to the floor. Challenging, isn’t it? Hold this strong position from 10 to 30 seconds, then put the right hand in front of the right foot on the mat, and turn out sideways, showing the torso towards the left side of the room, lifting the left arm up straight above the bottom arm. Now that I got you in such a crazy position, let’s test your patience and balance even further! Lift your right hand to your chest and hold for a few seconds. This is the Poet Pose. Come out of the pose with grace, even if you fall a million times, come out smiling: you gave it your best shot. Repeat on the other side, reversing legs and arms. Namaste Aranka Shkolnikov, is a long time yoga enthusiast, practicing not only hatha yoga, but also other esoteric forms of yoga since the early 1990′s.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

It is not always so easy to forgive, especially when we feel we have been wronged or hurt. We can change the way we look at a situation, understand that it’s not always personal and appreciate that there are so many layers to things. What we react to is indicative of something inside of us that needs attending to. Any challenging relationship or situation can actually play a significant role in our growth and can even be the catalyst for us to make some life changes. Once we can step back and acknowledge our part in how a situation unfolded, we gain clarity as to why we ended up there in the first place. Our lives are as much an external journey as they are an internal journey into the depths of our soul. Every experience brings us closer and closer to our issues, revealing the baggage that is brought to the surface for us to see. Going through difficult, challenging experiences helps us discover the difference between the beliefs we hold which are true and those that are false. Forgiveness is about releasing all resentment and bitterness, and setting ourselves free from any negative feelings that have the power to eat away at us and weaken us. We need to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. Many of us our own worst enemies. I have noticed with a lot of clients that when they start on a healthier eating plan they often times will have an all or nothing mentality. It doesn’t work that way, there are times when you are at a family dinner or out with friends and you overindulge in something. Don’t berate yourself for overindulging or straying from your plan. Forgive yourself for having been in the moment, enjoying the celebration or the comfort of food and get back on track the next day. We all have past issues stored in our tissues and when someone inadvertently makes a comment to us that hits a nerve, it may be interpreted completely differently then what was intended. A client I work with has a hard time accepting compliments. When someone comments on her weight loss, she interprets it as if there is something wrong with her, needing to lose weight in the first place. This sets her on a downward spiral. We can’t erase the past. Instead, we should honor it, forgive ourselves and realize that it helped shape the person we are today. A caterpillar can only become a butterfly with the struggle; if you try to help the caterpillar, it will die. In order to be free, its important to let go of the anchors that are holding you back. There was a time when I had so much regret and wished I could go back and do things differently. I have come to realize that all those experiences have helped me become who I am today. For example, I would not have the deep empathy and understanding for others if I didn’t have those experiences. We are not meant to be perfect. We didn’t get a life manual on how to be the day we were born. The beauty is in the imperfections and the small cracks that let light in. Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others. We all have areas in our lives that we need to work on. Make peace with your past and accept yourself with all your flaws and welcome more love into your life. ©2018 Ara Wiseman Nutrition & Healing. All Rights Reserved.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1 I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost … I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. Chapter 2 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. Chapter 3 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in … it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. Chapter 4 I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Chapter 5 I walk down another street. ~ Portia Nelson ~ (There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk)

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