Never someone who’s liked to make New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to practice certain life style choices, honing in tighter as the seasons change.
The beginning of a new year though, always the most significant time of reevaluation. What worked and what didn’t over the past year? Refocusing on my life’s direction and goals that I have set in all areas of my life.
This year, one of my goals is to dive deeper into the spiritual practice of yoga, following the guidance of one of my most inspiring yogis, Seane Corn. Her new book, Revolution of the Soul: Awakening To Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action, opening my eyes even wider to the power of what one person’s actions and thoughts can accomplish
It is with the 8 Limbs of Yoga, more specifically the 5 Koshas, that I reevaluate my life’s practices and disciplines.
The Physical or Food Body
From a physical viewpoint, this is our bones, muscles, joints, and tissues. One aspect of caring for the Physical body means focusing on eating habits.
Taking in only clean, organic, earth friendly foods, I still follow my life long bodybuilding diet, which consists of high protein white meat, fish, and free-range eggs, carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, (sweet potatoes, winter squash, brown rice, ect.), a variety of green leafy vegetables, and dairy, primarily in the form of milk.
And, of course, WATER! The most essential nutrient. Something I am always trying to be more cognizant of, especially this time of year.
Food to me, also means that which my mind and spirit are ingesting. Being diligent of the negative I am exposed to in my life, cognizant of the people, thoughts, and words that I allow into my space.
Being focused on my body keeps me in the present moment, grounded in my experiences, and able to investigate what I am experiencing physically. (A key factor in events that are currently unfolding in my life.)
The Energy Body
The Physical Body covers the Energy Body, it is composed of the subtle life-force energy called prana, also known as Chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the vitalizing force behind every atom, cell, organ, and body system.
Prana coordinates every physiological activity, from pumping the heart to the elimination of waste. Imbalances or blocks within this energetic body greatly affect the overall functioning of the physical body.
Refocusing on the vigilance of my habits and diet, including getting more fresh air and being out in the sunshine – which is the ultimate source of prana – will help me stay sharp and focused, increasing my energy level, (keeping me sane after 33 years of having children under the age of 18, with 4 more years to go), and stabilize my mood and ability to be open and more receptive.
The Mental Body
One’s third layer of being, ones Mental Body, relates to the Central Nervous System. It corresponds to one’s mind and emotions and is expressed as one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
One’s breathing is highly connected to one’s state of being, why Prana is vital to a person’s overall state of well being.
Something I never really gave thought to as a bodybuilder, though something I focused on every time I lifted. Yoga helped me to understand the importance in what I had been doing and helped me grow more diligent in my practice.
Asana, the yoga movements, and/or my days in the gym, help me move any agitation out of my mind and into my body so I can identify it and release. This, something definitely neglected in my life over the past several months as events had me focused in other areas. Perhaps, one of the most significant places I need to be placing my attention moving into the new year.
The Wisdom Body
The Wisdom Body is your inner knowing. Through coordinating breath with movement one becomes more present in the moment. This synchronizes the physical, energetic, and mental bodies. Only through time and these practices have I been able to attain a more internal awareness of my Wisdom Body.
Underneath ones endless stream of thoughts, feelings, and sensations lies an inner knowing and higher intelligence. Your intuition, conscience, and the reflective aspects of your consciousness are all parts of your wisdom body.
Through decades of lifting, and years of yoga practice, greater awareness and deeper insight into the nature of who I am, and how I relate to the world around me, are being attained.
Another one of my bigger goals this year, to work on keeping my mind quieted to discover an even deeper sense of self, guiding me further down the road of manifesting my visions.
Through meditation and quiet reflection, I hope to engage further my wisdom body, or discerning mind. Through focusing on my breathing in and out from my heart, and reading more spiritual texts- the food that nourishes my soul- this area of my being will ever continue to expand and grow.
The Bliss Body
This is the subtlest of the energy bodies and is connected to our awareness with our highest Self or Spirit. It is the deepest layer of our being and the core of our existence. Our bliss body is where we experience the unbounded freedom, expanse, and joyousness of our true nature.
The Bliss Body is one I tap into when I work out, when I dance, whilst writing, and any time out in nature. It’s like a coming home. There is a sense of peace and connectedness during which time ceases to exist and consciousness expands beyond the limits of my body.
This place I may not have put words too, but I know I have found in our Oasis, the little piece of heaven we have carved out for our home. The key for me, and another of this year’s foci, to learn how to tap into and sustain this a bit longer when going out in the outside world.
I have always said, if I am not growing and learning, I don’t want to be living. Moving past a place of healing, I strongly embrace the passion I hold within for life, and look forward to the adventure this year takes me on, for it will certainly take me deeper into the expanse known as Self. Excitement abounds as I move further along the road less traveled … for Revolution Begins With Me.