In class recently with my teacher Karen, she made a statement that really hit home with me--- well all her statements do, but this one in particular. As we were working she said, "It was asked of BKS Iyengar if he thought he would ever get cancer, he's 92, and he said NO, cancer could not hide inside me, my body is fully awake." WOW! And it got me thinking, how do we know we are fully awake?
I pondered this questions to my JDC kids, and their looks of "WHat the hell are you talking about!" really hit home with me. When I was a kid, there was no internet, there was no cool video games, well there was pong, but nothing like today-- no cell phones, nothing to suck your energy except good old fashioned playing outside and living strong inside your imagination.
What does it mean to be fully awake inside yourself? I thought about if I was truly awake, I mean, I do yoga, I teach yoga, I read the Yoga Sutras, I live for Light on Yoga, I am becoming an anatomy junky-- but am I awake to my highest potential? Or do I walk around in a fog of what Christina Sell names the "Downward Sprial?" Is it easier to be good at what I'm good at, and numb to what challenges me?
It seems to me, as I really studied people this week, that many of us are walking around in a fog until some catastrophic even jolts us AWAKE! Then we begin to take stock into what the heck we have been doing-- in yoga this would be "removing the veil from the mirror of your heart." My daughter for example, lives in Las Vegas as a UNLV student, who recently driving around in a fog of text messaging, hit the back of another car. In that moment, she tells me-- Mom I will never text message while driving again, I will not tailgate, and I'm going to be a better driver. My response to her was why were you not a better driver in that moment before the accident-- she says I don't know I guess I just wasn't paying attention. Paying attention is being awake to all that goes on around you-- paying attention to ourselves and others is all we have-- what are we robbing from inside our hearts if we are not paying attention?
With awareness of all that supports you in life, understanding that to live your most beautiful radiant life, you need to be awake to the best part of yourself-- well that seems easy-- but in retrospect it's easier to walk around in a daze, just bouncing from thing to thing like a ping pong ball-- and then finally sitting in front of the TV, watching David Letterman, and secretly happy that his life right now at this moment is somehow worse than yours-- watching crazy reality TV to feel better about not living from a space of awakening. It seems to me that we are wasting time until our last breath, when maybe we awaken for a split second to the best part of ourselves. But is living our best live in the last moments enough-- why wait to open ourselves, why wait to become the person we want to be?
To me that's not enough, every day we get a new 24 hours as a gift to wake up! WE get to open ourselves every morning to the brightness of our heart and to look inside to tap into our source and then expand from there. If every morning we knew that all we had to do to awaken was to give our best self to others to look inside everyday and say, "Yes today I live from my awakened state of beauty."
To answer your questions, yes after this explaination to the kids in JDC, they still had the look of "Can we get to the asana, please crazy awake yoga lady?" And then I snuck in the lesson of awakening your poses through Ankle Loop-- how Ankle Loop can brighten any standing pose because if you are awake in your 4 cornered feet with the strength of your arch working to sustain your beautiful architechture-- then taaadaaaa your leg awakens to its highest potential-- Proudly I will report that all kids awakened to Padangustasana for the first time, steady grounded and aware of all that supports them-- so for a moment they were AWAKE!!!