• Kris Layman

Summer Musings: Abhyasa and Vairagya

Greetings and happy summer days to you!

In yoga there are a couple concepts called abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (non-attachment). This means equal measure of effort and ease. How that plays out in our lives; in different areas of our life, and in our yoga practice varies with each person.

Personally, I have been paying greater attention to how I listen - not only to the outside sounds, people, news, etc., but to my inner intuition and voice. I have been continuing to see the ebb and flow of my energy, creativity, extroversion, introversion, natural cycles and rhythm of my own body, thoughts, energy, etc. In holding a greater awareness of this, I notice more of the paradox and making space for when I am frustrated outwardly at the world, and yet I am not being honest with myself. I get frustrated at the treatment of others, yet I haven’t been treating my body with kindness. I get frustrated at someone for not understanding my point, when I am judging someone for a choice I wouldn’t have made. This is the duality I notice in myself, my reactions, and recognize the hypocrisies I hold. That being said, the biggest part of this is to continue to love myself. It’s sometimes so much easier to push it aside and ignore my part, than to love myself when I stumble, disappoint myself and others, get stuck in patterns, and yes, that is part of being human. The yogis and yoginis thousand of years ago knew all of this and those lessons and techniques are still so powerful in today’s world.

I sometimes feel like an outsider looking in. One of my life lessons is the need to ‘do the right thing’. As I move along this path, I realize more that there are a lot of ways of doing things, all produce a different outcome, and I really do not feel there is a ‘right’ way. There are many ways, and the best for me and invariably for all includes listening to my inner voice; my heart.

In doing so, I come so often to recognize this isn’t the promoted way in today’s busy life. The ‘doing’ is congratulated and given accolades, but if we quiet ourselves enough to actually listen to what we need and desire, that may be seen as selfish or indulgent.

The inner nagging voice that says “who do you think you are?”, “you’ve got to keep working through it” , “You will disappoint some”, “That’s not how we usually do things”, then fear and doubt kick in “you will lose clients”, “here we go again”, and all of this creates a sense of dependency and that we are not capable.

But what I do know, is when I take time to study, learn more about myself, love myself more, see that I am more than just my physical body, personality, etc. , I become and grow into a better teacher, mother, friend, daughter, neighbor, etc. This isn’t time wasted.

As time goes by, I notice and can sense when I need to fill my cup, lengthen my yoga practice and study time, to draw inward and not be social. The desire to sit and watch the birds, trees, anything in nature and connect to that natural, cyclical rhythm of life. I know we are all capable and on our journey with our own lessons to learn. Being the best me I can be definitely requires down time - time to reflect, learn, and listen. Because of that down time, I show up present, authentic, able to love greater, able to hold duality and the many ways of doing and living life.

Thank you all for listening, reading, patience, and recognizing sometimes classes will be put on pause, time will be taken, massage appointments will be less. My heart wish is for all of us to find peace, awaken to our own power and strength, capabilities, so that we continue to inspire each other, hold each other up and voice our individual voices, spirit, and love. Let’s believe in the best for each other, and recognize we are capable in ways we haven’t even discovered.

The space we hold at Prema is for various forms of self-study, community, learning, healing, growing, inspiring, and so much more. This is a group effort. This is for all of us - regardless of your weight, height, flexibility, whether you wear spandex, have expensive yoga clothes, say the right things, memorize the poses, etc. The real question is can we do the work internally, heart-centered for our own self-exploration, and in doing so, hold space for various ways of being, looking, showing up, disappointing, forgiving, listening, and learning?

My heart knows- Yes We Can.

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