ellensagh

1. Meditating On My Half Moon Yoga Pose

I was introduced to yoga when I left home. I was in a mountain chalet in Collingwood, Ontario, taking part in a culture exchange program. Another participant was practicing twenty minutes of yoga followed by twenty minutes of meditation first thing in the morning and offered to show me the yoga poses. Within a few weeks I was comfortable with the yoga; loved how it stretched out the long muscles of my body and found it relaxing and restorative. I’d finished and felt prepared for the day. I was totally comfortable with twenty minutes of prayer while she was doing her meditation but wanted to learn more. I did, taking training in transcendental meditation and continued that and the yoga as a practice for the next four years.

When I was in a marriage preparation session to have my future husband’s first marriage annulled in order to marry in the Catholic church, I answered the priest’s query about my prayer life explaining my meditation and yoga practice as part of it. When I heard his exhortation on how that was the work of the devil, I let it go like a hot potato. It was several years later at a church rummage sale, I picked up a used copy of Hatha Yoga, and out on the farm, that book felt like a life saver. I was back into practice and learned at least three versions so I could have different poses for the different days I practiced and it not only toned my body but was calming for my mind. It spoke about meditation as a natural ending to any practice and I combined it with my prayer life.

I would often fall off the wagon so to speak, as in quit doing yoga when motherhood and work life was a bit much. Something would remind me to do it again and I found it always took me back to the centre of me and allowed me to be in touch with the emotional and spiritual inside of me.

When a life crisis hit and I was in a women’s program, the leader, who became a life long friend gave me cassette tapes of a woman leading a yoga program to background music of the Beatles. I can still hear, “Some women put on a five minute facial while they are upside down in the shoulder stand to the background music of “Hey Jude, don’t be so sad, you were made to go out and get her”` ringing in my ears.

When I was in the divorced, children leaving home, phase of my life, I was walking downtown Saskatoon and saw a picture of a woman in the half moon pose. That is the picture I am choosing to give Patty for the book; me in action in the half moon pose. That yoga instructor was offering Wednesday noon hour yoga classes. Those cemented my knowing that yoga brings down the stress levels as the rest of the work week would be better than the beginning.

Yoga, then and now, grounds me; brings me back to myself; as well as toning the physical part of me; giving me flexibility. The meditation at the end of the session on the yoga mat on my living room floor, is like having a couple of hours sleep. Still, In the morning when I begin my practice and it begins with the deep, deep breathing, it’s like I have found home as near every yoga practice will talk about breathing. I love the names of the poses. Who wouldn’t like to be referred to as a standing mountain or a hero?

Two friends of mine asked me to join a different yoga class. What I remember about that one, is the weekly time where the tears would flow freely as I learned where in my body I stored old memories that needed healing and release. I’m glad the teacher and the people in that class gave me that safe experience.

My son gave me the best gift ever about seven or eight years ago; three dvd’s from a company called the white lotus foundation. It’s three different yoga programs; each about an hour long; forty five minutes of yoga poses with a fifteen minute meditation ending. It tones my body, is rejuvenating and allows me the energy to do every other thing in my life, and these days, mostly with joy!

Yoga helps me connect with what some people might call God or what I’d call All That Is. It reminds me of a song I wrote, that goes, “I trust in the universal light; it connects me with my body, mind and soul,…” and that’s what my yoga, meditation and the half moon pose do; sometimes connects me with that universal oneness.      

– 17 February 2017 –

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