There are many ways to describe “FREEDOM”. On a personal level, an individual’s ability to perform the basic functions of life- breathe, drink, eat, eliminate, sleep, procreate- helps to define the quality of life that one is living.
On the subject of an healthy, efficiently operating body, the ancient Vedics developed a breathing practice called Pranayama that literally used one’s breath to feed and nourish the body.
I am a relatively new comer to Yoga and the classical 8-limb practice (Ashtanga) which includes physical movement in postures (asana) and breath work (Pranayama).
What initially brought me to Yoga were the therapeutic elements that helped to relieve my pain from a lifetime of sports injuries (broken collarbone from mountain biking, two knee surgeries from dance and distance running, extremely tight shoulders and neck from a nearly 40-year career as a violin/viola player, etc.).
I have developed a fascination over the past five years with the changing shape of my body as I have made yoga a daily part of my physical/mental/spiritual practice. At the ripe young age of 51, I currently have a range of motion and strength that I never imagined possible and that bests my weight-lifting/karate-boxing/marathon running years in my 20’s and 30’s!
To actively age backwards is my definition of ‘Living Well’ and affording the freedom to live as I desire. My guides to this effect include the exquisite Iyengar Master Teacher Lisa Walford. Lisa’s Pranayama classes are made doubly powerful because they are presented on the full and new moons. This exercise regimen, mindfully connected with the energies of the planets, has the effect of supercharging my body. I am at a place where no caffeine is needed as I make this focus on the breath part of my daily practice.
Jacques Henri Taylor has nurtured my aching limbs with his brilliant practice of Muscle Activation Therapy (MAT), training me to be more mindful of subtle muscular movements, allplanet’s, to absorb the more detailed elements of body alignment cues that my vigorous Ashtanga instructor Sean Gray challenges me with.
To be able to actually see and appreciate the positive change in my life is my mentor the Feng Shui Master Ken Lauher. Clearing the mind and coming into balance with one’s true, authentic, higher self is a theme that I am aware of but my tendency to freeze in the face of a project that will clear the way for even greater achievements in my life has prompted Ken to say on a few occasions “Karen, just get the fucking job done!” My recent project completion success is all thanks to that man!
Giving a voice and structure to my gifts that I have to offer is the brilliant Bob Choat whose “School of Transformation” is a source of inspiration to the participants and listeners. I think of Bob as one who allows for freedom in speech through his gift of the gab. One must listen to his podcasts.
To imagine having the wealth of good fortune that I am enjoying now in the physical/mental/spiritual realms is all thanks to the work I started three years ago with Natalie Ledwell in her USM (Ultimate Success Masterclass), an interpretation of the concepts behind the Law of Attraction and “A Course in Miracles” that truly accelerates the manifestation of one’s goals.
When considering a clearing of the mind or the body, one has to be mindful of the fact that physical dirt equals psychic dirt- a dirty/cluttered living space will interfere with that person’s ability to succeed because the mind and body are an interwoven unit. In “The Yoga Sutras” by Patanjali, he encourages a yoga practice as it restrains the distracted mind- “Yogaś citta vritti nirodhah.”
With all elements cleared, one now has the freedom to move at will. Clarity allows for a global perspective, allowing for more interesting travels in the mind and afoot.
Check out my contribution in “The Little Black Book Of Fitness, as I touch on more of these concepts of #freedom.
Here’s to celebrating FREEDOM in all things physical/mental/spiritual.
http://www.YogaMusic.me featuring Karen Elaine
http://www.myotopia.com with Jaques Henri Taylor