I just so happened to have already been reading the book Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra before my visit to Virginia, and finished it while I was there. Reading that book while practicing yoga each day at Flow Yoga was pure providence. The basic tenets of both the book and the classes reinforced one another beautifully. As there are basically three sections in a yoga class (the beginning still time, the active practice, and shavasana at the end), there are also three main sections in the book (the first of which emphasizes the body, the second the soul, and the third about how to harmonize the two). What I read in the final pages of Chopra’s book sounded a lot like what I heard on the mat at Flow; of the ten detailed “Steps to Wholeness” he provides, three were especially similar to yogic principles.
Step One – Nourish Your Light Body. Chopra wrote, “As you approach each day, consciously channel energy into your vision” which, to me, bespeaks the concept “intention” that is encouraged at the beginning of each yoga session. Furthermore, his pointers, too, sound like terms I heard during yoga wherein he heartens the reader to be dynamic, loving, creative, spontaneous, playful, knowing, and ever expanding. Instead of putting these concepts in the box of “only for my individual personal growth,” or thinking this is “only for yoga class,” why don’t we strive to apply these characteristics to all areas of our lives – physically, mentally, and spiritually?
|the real Thinker and the wannabe Thinker|
Venice Italy, July 2009
By the end of my seven straight days of yoga and after completing the book, I felt a question pressing on me: What does "focus" really mean? And it seems that what it means to me is a balanced combo of the yogic principles emphasized at Flow Yoga and the steps Chopra describes.... basically, by connecting to the awareness of self, soul, relationship, and God, and living according to the fullness and genuineness of those relationships you find "true" focus. It’s really not about checking accomplishments off a to-do list, doing a yoga pose the best, running the fastest, making the most money, or one upping someone else. Type A’s, don’t fret! You can incorporate these principles and still be successful; you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other, but find the harmony of their combination. Even as I spent just one week working on my physical balance, I was surprised to see my mental balance (and therefore, focus) increase, as well, because of how all of these principles were seamlessly woven into each class I attended…how reading and yoga’ing beautifully complimented one another during the “Semper Stretch” week of Semper Sarah adventures. Thank you once more, Flow Yoga J