Freedom. Liberation. Independence.
Moksha is a Sanskrit term that is defined as a form of liberation. It can be taken as freeing oneself from the cycles of life, as in removal of oneself from the cycle of death and rebirth, or it can be used in a broader sense of freeing oneself from restricting cycles and mindsets. In aspiring to achieve moksha, you are allowing the true self to blossom and to feel great in your physical body. You are also giving yourself permission to free your mind from the “monkey mind” madness of never ending trains of thought.
There are cycles in life that we are a part of. Good or bad; some happen whether we consciously choose to be a part of them or not. Often, cycles start small and grow larger over time. For example, the smallest alteration in your posture can create a cascade of effects, either positive or negative, over time. If something is hurting in your body, try to envision where that hurt is coming from and make small changes to alter your sense of being. Take time to account for all areas of your body – take a mental inventory: What is hurting? What feels tense? How is my breathing? Realize that our bodies are a working system – small misalignments in one area can manifest themselves in other areas of the system. Take special care with your feet placement and alignment. Try to keep both feet parallel to each other and walk neither with the toes pointed outwards or inwards. This seemingly small movement is very important for your back health. Try this: stand tall, in mountain pose. Align your body. Make sure your feet are parallel. Consciously envision yourself standing strong and tall, your knees stacked above ankles, hips above knees, your pelvis neutral, spine elongated, neck and shoulders relaxed and free of tension, head floating on the top tip of the spine, reaching for the sky. Be aware of the connections in your body, and realize the changes that need to be made to liberate yourself from pain from poor posture. Take time to practice good posture every day – your body will naturally tell you where you need to make adjustments. Realize that it may take some time to reverse the effects of poor posture – most of us continually repeat the same movements every day and get into the habit of sitting or standing a certain way – sometimes this goes on for months or years! It can easily take the same amount of time to reverse those days or months (or years!) – dedication to your practice is key. Asana (yoga postures) help us to become better aware of our body as the system it is and allow us to function smoothly in our movements. The more you practice, the more self-aware you will be, and the easier it will be to free yourself from the negative cycles of poor posture. Energy will increase, and you will feel more comfortable in your body.
Another way to liberate yourself is through meditation. Taking some time off from the constant flow of thoughts and information that is presented to us is a great way to bring new focus to your practice and your life. Meditation allows us to develop a sense of inner peace and calmness, to nurture a space within us that is accessible even in times of stress. The more we practice our meditation, the easier it is to reach that place. It is a well of never ending peace – we can share our compassion and patience with others and never fear that it will run dry. Focus on your breathing. You can close your eyes, if you like, or you can fix your gaze upon some non-moving object. Notice how your breath feels entering and exiting your body. Is it deep and full? Do you feel the lungs expanding fully, with no constriction at any point in the inhale or exhale? Try counting the same measure for each inhale and exhale. Make the inhale and exhale the same length. Once you are breathing deeply and fully, relax. Allow your thoughts to come and go – do not judge them or begin to follow them, simply allow them to come to your attention, and allow them to move away. With practice, the thoughts will slow and it is possible to enter a space of quietness in the mind. This liberation of the mind will allow for important goals and focus points to come to your attention.
The desire to practice moksha, along with detachment from outcome, are key aspects of leading a joyful existence.
YOGA IS ASANA...
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