1.1 atha yoganusasanam
“Now this is Yoga as I have perceived it in the natural world.”
These are literally the first words of the "yogi bible", the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
What it implies is that the principles of the yogic philosophy were gleaned by wise humans who simply observed what was all around them, which is to say NATURE. 🌿
Mother Earth is the ultimate teacher & healer.
And I'm learning more everyday how to savor her sweet gifts.
But it wasn't always the case.
Not long ago, the idea of being in relationship with the earth and its rhythms, including the ones of my own body, was quite foreign to me.
When I lived in Berlin, my usual regime was to pull all nighters, fill the body with crap, live out of a suitcase & not see the light of day during the colder months.
I had a fun time but boy did my system get out of whack!
Until it forced me to listen - through feelings of anxiety, burnout, and disconnect. 💔
So I shifted gear and moved to Sydney where I discovered that I could rise with the sun, jump in the ocean & move my body every day.
People around me spoke about tracking the moon cycles and working with the elements like it was legit. 🌛
I got intrigued.
As I spent more time on the yoga mat & meditation cushion, I learned to lean into my experience and pay closer attention.
First to my own internal landscape of body, thoughts, emotions.
Then to how all of it is supported by a wider net of relationships with other beings and the environment.
Because it's ludicrous to think any of us can be separate from it all.
In remembering our interdependence & appreciating fully all that is offered to us...
We can step into ourselves more fully.
But also, more readily give back & care for a planet that is already on the brink. 🌏
The yogis knew how to extract powerful insights from zooming on the micro details of their experience.
But the cool thing is:
You don't need to be a sage in a cave to figure this stuff out.
This opportunity to connect is available here & now, to any of us.
All it takes is a consistent consciousness practice, what we yoga people call a Sadhana (in Sanskrit).
What this personal inquiry looks like will be different for each of us, but it will serve to nurture all aspects of our lives.
My teacher Katie Rose writes:
In my next letter, I will share more about how you can build your own ritual to flow into your days with ease.
Thanks for your attention & if you want to chat about any of this please do reach out!
Take care x
PS: Lately I've been inspired by this wonderful book called Braiding Sweetgrass by the Indigenous biologist & writer Robin Wall Kimmerer. The audiobook is read by the author in an exquisitely woven blend of science and mythology.