Hatha Yoga – What is it ?

Hatha Yoga – What is it ???

Something I wrote on the bigger picture of Hatha Yoga . As usual I wrote it without intention of sharing so disregard any typo, grammatical errors .etc…Thought some of you may like to see my viewpoint on the bigger picture of the practice of Hatha Yoga.

Hatha yoga = Physical yoga – Covers all things about our physical life – prepares our bodies and mind for life .

We have built many conveniences in life . These things allow us to live with more physical ease . These are good to have , but attachment to them is not . We have warm water , warm homes, air conditioning, cars, convenient stores, big comfortable beds , etc.. We use these to make life easier and more comfortable , but need to be able to be content without them . Without intention and practice in doing so , we leave our peace and contentment in the power of outside circumstances . Hatha yoga makes our bodies strong, our breath controlled, our minds focused and always aware of the truth. In our practice we condition our bodies and minds for life without suffering . In our asana practice ( physical postures ) we strengthen our bodies and make them more flexible with better mobility . When we practice asana we strive to take our bodies to our edge . Taking as much discomfort as we can handle is where we want to be in our practice to prime our bodies and minds for life without suffering . The mind is weaker than the body . With the practice of handling the physical discomforts in our asana practice we condition the mind as well as the body . Then when life becomes uncomfortable we are prepared and can mentally and physically peacefully experience whatever comes our way . We instinctually know what to do to soothe ourselves and are most often times unaffected . We soon begin ” playing” with the situation and peacefully see it all as a test and challenge of our desire to remain content or even peaceful in adversity . This comes through constant and absolute awareness of our higher self ( soul) and absolute devotion of connecting our soul to God (as we relate to “him”) ( Bhakti Yoga) . Many people cannot find contentment unless things are a “certain way” . The home , the food , the bed , the temperature or the entire situation itself etc… must be a certain way or suffering occurs . Yoga assists in removing this attachment from our lives . Only when these attachments are gone can we experience true peace and contentment . Until then our peace, happiness and contentment are very circumstantial, which is not peace at all . In Hatha yoga we are provided the tools to live peacefully with or without our earthly desires being met . Through asana we make our bodies strong , through pranayama we can control the temperature of the body, the energy in the body and irritations of the mind , through concentration and meditation we can overcome all mental disturbances and learn to be focused and completely present in all that we do . When on this path we will naturally begin to self monitor our behavior to keep our bodies and mind well . For example we will not eat heavily because it will cause us physical and emotional suffering which will in turn affect our ” good work ” meaning our commitments to others , our ability to do our paying job , we will be unwell and cannot care for our children , we cannot walk as needed , etc… This will negatively affect our practice of Karma Yoga ( karma yoga = Yoga of action , I’ll get into that a different time ) Meaning we cannot physically perform the actions and deeds we are here to do Hatha yoga is 85% asana and 15 % pranayama and mediation . With these 3 things we can handle any physical situation . Hatha yoga is all things physical in life . Suppose we have to walk 5 miles to the market , we would prepare for the trip . We are mindful and do not take this trip unprepared. Our minds focus on what we need to buy, we make one trip with intention . Our bodies and our minds are prepared for it . We take care of our bodies properly knowing that if we do not we cannot walk the 5 miles to the market and therefore cannot provide for ourselves and others. When we only have to travel 2 miles in a car we are careless with both condition of the body and mind. Unfocused not acting with intention. Our minds jump around and are unfocused due to the fact that the consequences of such mental fluttering , fluctuations and lack of focus are very small. Or are they ??? Attachment to the luxuries in life make for weakness of the mind, carelessness in our care for our bodies and carelessness in our actions . Physical discomfort makes our minds stronger. In most cases our bodies can already handle the discomfort , especially if we keep our bodies strong and otherwise healthy. It is our minds that cannot . Spending time in physical discomfort will make a mind controlled and focused . We learn to acknowledge the discomfort , analyze whether a change must happen and then either change it or use our breath and meditation to detach from said discomfort . This practice will naturally create the desire and discipline needed to live life without suffering . Our perceived needs and desires will naturally begin to lessen due to our successes in new life experiences and our ongoing practice of non attachment (One of the Yamas = I’ll get into that another time ) . We will develop the disciple to avoid the things that cause our bodies to suffer. A simple example would be overeating and eating heavy foods. A heavy body causes us to sleep more , we lack the energy and the strength to move ourselves around with ease. This then leads to depression , joint pain , irritability , anger , etc… . A controlled, experienced , focused mind will do the ” work” to avoid such suffering in life . Our deep desire to do “good work” ( karma yoga) will make us choose not to do the things that cause us pain , therefore becoming a burden to our families, etc. and can no longer do our work for them , ourselves and others. The practice of Hatha yoga is all encompassing . Though it must follow the steps of understanding Bhakti ( the yoga of devotion ) Jnana Yoga ( yoga of known) and Karma Yoga ( the yoga of action ) to be complete .

The Intellect- What is it ? Something I wrote when thinking about our intellectual minds …

In our culture the intellect is everything
Doctors, lawyers, businessmen – we seem to push the intellect in the direction of a fat paycheck .
In reality our intellect reaches far beyond getting a degree . It is our creative tool. If used correctly this intellect takes the ambition of the soul and brings it to fruition in this world .
Everything we have created that exists in this world exists first as a thought . A building exists in the mind of the builder , our food begins in the mind of a farmer . This is true of the government, a business, a song, a painting , a book , a golf shot, a dance ….
Every action began as a thought . These thoughts create actions that move us through our life toward the fulfillment of our being .

The most important thing to know on about our intellect is that YOU CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS.
We not only create “things” , we create the view we have of the world around us . We have the incredible gift of the mind to create our reality both in a material aspect as well as our perception of life in general .

Go for a walk someday ( how about today ) just watch your thoughts . Where does your mind wander ?? Is it too hot or too cold outside ? Do you analyze the landscape as you go ? Do you criticize the people you pass ? Do you mentally leave the walk and leap ahead on to what you are going to do in the next hour or next week?
In meditation we are not taught so much to empty our minds but instead to watch our thoughts without passion or judgment just simply observe them . Staying in the moment not allowing the thoughts to take us away from the present moment .

We must practice being fully present with all our attention on whatever it is we are doing . No matter how big or how small . Be fully aware and fully present in this moment

We become our thoughts . Our minds create our view of the world around us . 
Everyday when you roll out of bed you get to choose what you are going to think about today . No matter how rainy it is outside , no matter how rude people are to you , no matter how much work you have ahead of you , no matter how poor you are today , no matter what barriers lie before you , you get to choose how you are going to think about every step of it . 

The secret of happiness depends far less on what you have or what happens to you ,then on how you think about it . 

The quality of our lives equals the quality of our thoughts . This is the true power of the intellect . It expands so far beyond storing and processing useful information . We see the world through our mind. How powerful is that ?

In preparation to reopen

Hello all ! Gosh I’ve missed our studio time . In preparing to reopen I am asking those of you who are interested in classes and other studio info to email me your email address . If you have already done so , then you are already on the email list and do not need to do anything . If you are signed up to receive the blogs you are not necessarily on the master email list , so I will need your email address I will be sending out the plan to register for classes in anticipation of there being limited participants and a temporarily modified schedule . There is no way for me to make this temporary change “ideal” and will do my best to accommodate those that are ready to return to studio time . Please email your email info to omsweetomyogaandfitness@gmail.com . Thank you and hope to see you soon – 💚Nicole

Thoughts for today 💚 Hari Om

When we are in the darkest of our days, we open our hearts and might feel emotions like fear anxiety or pain. But we opened … and this is the moment where love and grace enters you. Allow yourself to open, and feel the fear and emotions this global situation might bring to you. When we dig for gold, we first have to go through a lot of layers of mud and dirt. But in the end we can see it is all so beautiful.
When you feel fearful and disconnected: quiet your mind, cease activities, pull yourself out of the illusion of the day and the world. Go back in and feel. Feel how nothing can harm the real you. Things are happening in the outside world, but your true nature will always remain eternal and the same.
Things can seem fearful or feel different at first, but not to your heart and to your soul. We’ve heard these kind of words already so many times. Just hearing them didn’t bring us anywhere. Now it is time to experience them.
Try to see the one loving energy all around you. Feel how you are living in her womb, forever safe. See the loving one all around you, in every person’s eyes, even in your enemies. Try to feel the suffering that person has to go through and find that place inside that person where you can find yourself; love. Let’s take care of each other in this global situation and spread our inner lights.
Hari Om Tat Sat

The courage to seek the truth – a short but sweet writing

If you are brave enough to leave behind the things that are familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be hidden from you. Or so I’ve come to believe.

“The Mind” – something I wrote quickly last evening before falling asleep .

Those that are afraid of silence and stillness are minds that are filled with chaos – they become addicted to the emotions , the fluctuations and the distractions to avoid the discomfort of the stillness. This is a common place for many -Though I would think all of us are here at different times in life . In our current society our senses are on overload all the time – we never truly rest our minds , even during sleep . To rest the mind we must direct it , give it somewhere to go . Without direction it will flutter all over the place . If truly immersed in the present moment your mind will not flutter . Roping and bringing in the mind is the key to a peaceful mind . In order to begin to calm the mind we must first notice it’s tendencies , begin to become aware of the mind . Observe it as if you are a voyuer . . Observe your mind without judging what you are noticing . Not labeling any thoughts or fluctuations as good or bad , just notice them . Notice how you feel . Do your thoughts bring on feelings of joy or does that thought bring on anxiety and restlessness . Notice the triggers for each reaction. Realize our goal is not to only feel joy or the “higher vibration” happy emotions , but to experience each of them for what they are – a small ripple in the mind which does not change “the whole” . It’s fascinating to observe from an “outsider stand point “ and very entertaining as well ! To observe our own mind without attachment to the emotions, without “becoming” them provides us extreme freedom . Randomly throughout your day consciously observe your mind much as you would watch a movie . Practice this daily . Once this awareness becomes a natural state, the mind becomes more restful , peaceful and is no longer in control of you . Once we become acutely aware of the fluctuations of our minds we can begin to build a healthy relationship with it and begin to “adjust” it . This ability will allow us a feeling of calm and peace regardless of the chaos or disappointments around us . When we recognize we have the choice and the ability to remain in a state of contentment and that this state of contentment is NOT externally dependent, we are on the path of yoga . ✌️💚- Hari Om Nicole Depauw

Personality – What is it ??

You are your genetic code plus all of the good and bad things that have ever happened in your life . You are the praise and the criticism that have been put upon you . You are the love that has brightened your life and the rejection that has floored you . You are the color of your skin, the shape of your body and the way you move through life .
– Most of all you are your own unique view and reaction to life .
You look at life through your own lens .
No one sees life the same way you do . Your perception of the world around you becomes your reality .
Know yourself . As Plato says “The life which is unexamined is not worth living”
This quote points to the importance of examining , understanding and loving who we are . Examining ourselves keeps us from stumbling blindly along our way . By never pondering what made me smile, what made me cry, what makes me eat poorly , what brings me joy , what do I love about being in nature , why do I love being successful in my career , what do I love about being a mother , what would I never want anyone to know about me …. By never investigating what makes us tick we move ignorantly through our days. This information is helpful in keeping us in balance physically , emotionally , spiritually , financially and in our relationships . It’s also fun and exciting to explore ourselves. Ask yourself questions and answer yourself honestly , then accept the answer as it is at this time in your life . That same question will be answered 50 different ways throughout our time on this earth . How fun is it to explore yourself without judgement . Without feeling the need for your findings to be any different than they are .
Going back to my earlier discoveries about our intellect ( I’ll post that someday ) – you control your thoughts therefore you have the ability to control your interpretation of the world around you . We move through life guided by what we find important at the time . Always sacrificing something for another . Notice those things . It’s here you will find your purpose ( I will get into,that on a different post ) within your choices lies the answer to your life’s purpose . Look closely . It’s there. The common denominator in all of your actions .
Within all of these experiences and our relationship with them , drizzled with some past life experiences -including our soul growth lesson in this lifetime , we have our ” persona “, who we present ourselves to be to the world around us ! So beautiful and so much fun to notice, get to know and accept “as is” in any given moment . Always looking for the lesson , learning , changing , evolving . …. But the ” whole” never changes . It’s who you truly are . A beautiful perfect soul navigating this messy human world . Stumbling your way closer to the state of absolute bliss .

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