Mind Your Yoga came about one winter day in London on my way to the airport. While in the tube, I kept on hearing the same sentence again and again just like a mantra, “mind the gap”, when the doors were about to open and “mind the gap”, when the doors were about to close. I thought “Mind your posture: inhale” and “Mind your mind: exhale”.
It seems like we need to be constantly reminded: Mind your head, mind your speed or mind your dog.
The energy behind Mind Your Yoga is about minding ourselves and mindfulness is mainly cultivated by being consistent and enthusiastic while moving consciously with the natural rhythm of one’s breath. Ideally free of expectations and trying not to be caught up by our endless stories, we adapt spontaneously to the moment, slowly breaking the old rooted patterns that make the body resist any situation that we are not familiar with: the transformation process has begun pervading all the different aspects of our life.
Indeed, the body is meant to bend in all kinds of ways and if we cannot control the body we live in, it is unlikely for us to feel good about the way we carry ourselves in the world. Oblivious of the environment we live in, we may have never experienced wholeness and radiant health. Feeling fit might be as close as we can get.
To unwind versus to awaken is the battle of our time. We are dependent on each other whether we like it or not. Just like a sailboat lost on a stormy night—we go for a refuge into our spiritual practices which will keep us anchored: it is safe to be one-self where there is no need to pretend.
In the wild, adaptation is not a matter of choice, “maybe I will go hunting today!” No… to adapt to their environment is the only way to survive. Animals are very alert, always watching. They do not behave as if there is another day: that day may never come. They take on what they really need. They are very unlikely to gorge themselves to death. They do not aim at getting heavy and if they do there is a specific reason behind their natural behaviour. Laziness is unknown to them and if they look as they are lazy, again there is a purpose there.
Domesticated animals are another species all together, often a direct reflection of their keeper. Without structure they get confused and confusion leads to agitation and often to fear. Fear is most likely to lead to aggression. If we are not organized inwardly through discipline and ethics, we cannot project power, self-confidence and control over our emotions. The body having its own language, our furry friends will not relate to someone who cannot breathe leadership: how could they? If we do not feel safe in our own skin how can they?
Without a conscious routine, a structure of some kind, our health will be jeopardised: mentally first and then physically at a time when everything seems under control. Countless warnings will be given by the body as a reminder to stay in present time. No amounts of pills, surgeries or body work can help if we do not want to make the effort to keep ourselves aligned with our inner nature.
It is a great gift to be able to delve deeply into a spiritual practice, because yoga is a spiritual discipline and we have the rest of our life to discover what spirituality is and who we are. Being spiritual is taking responsibility for our body, speech and mind.
In the spiritual field, the teacher is like a compass that will guide us as far as we can go.
There are countless stars in the skies and among the infinite numbers there is always one that will attract our attention.
The practice of yoga is a simple reminder to dwell inside, to know when we are home, knowing when we are breathing in and when we are breathing out, looking after our inner environment. It is nice to live in a quiet and clean space free of litter.
Nobody can make us happier or healthier and at the end of the day we have to digest our own food. Healing happens when we have found ourselves.
Breathe the feeling of being alive. Mind yourself. Mind your world. Mind our world and, I shall do the same.