Why Yoga, Why Meditation, Why NOW!
Growing up in the sixties and becoming a teacher was the furthest thing from my mind. There was chaos in the world. Fear gripped the minds of the masses.
Groups harnessed strength for peaceful marches for civil liberties and civil rights. Half a million died in Vietnam. A 20yr senseless war was alive in our living rooms on black and white TV. And the possibility of World War III loomed daily in our consciousness as the Soviet’s joined forces with Castro placing nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Martin Luther King had a dream, Dylan chronicled social and political unrest and creative rights for artistic expression. And in jaw dropping disbelief with goosebumps and bated breath we watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land Apollo on the moon. Harvard professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, to become Ram Das, probed the edges of consciousness. A new generation were here to be seen and heard. Woodstock Festival showed the way and California Dreamin was awash with hippies celebrating Love and Peace for all life. But it wasn’t just happening in the US.
In the UK our home grown Fabs, premiered their single All You Need is Love. Entitled Our World and live from Abbey Road Studios, this was the first ever worldwide live satellite television broadcast. This song was to become the anthem for all Hippy Hearts on the Path of Love.
Meanwhile I arrived from the cellar clubs and cafe poetry readings of the Beat Scene of Liverpool to the sleepy sandstone grandeur of the City of Bath. I lay on the grass in the garden of a Georgian mansion. A garden of dreams with its circuit walks designed to evoke a variety of emotions and dark enclosed tunnels of evergreens opening into bright sunny glades. Oh, and the Ha-ha, I kid you not. A carefully constructed invisible boundary to keep the livestock away from the main house .. back in the day!
Twas a day that would change my life …
with tender voice I am being invited to surrender by breath to my belly. And sensing the exhalation discharge deep into the centre of the earth. Is she for real? This is cosmic! So here’s the thing, what I am experiencing in this moment, an open-mind often called a beginners mind is the best way to show up for what is apparently yoga. No need to worry about feeling a fool, getting it wrong or not being good enough. The practise is about presence of expanding awareness. Well I did feel brilliant in fact it felt like I was in love with love itself. Or perhaps I am love? OK, that’s perhaps a little far fetched, and yet how else can war and annihilation dissolve in consciousness in a moment? And into what?
War to Peace in one yoga session in a moment. I continue to ponder. Realising opposites is one thing but for them to dissolve into our being where nothing is attached. Isn’t this what happens with Teflon because it’s non-stick! That day I entered a lifelong quest and now have pleasure in inviting others who are curious to come and join me.
So if you have a body that is uncomfortable and a mind that can do acrobats like a monkey and if like me you are fascinated by space beyond time and gravity then before the next spaceship arrives know that yoga and meditation may also be calling you. Why Yoga, Why Meditation, Why Now? Why Not?
Nothing to lose but tension .. nothing to change but the mind.
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Kathryn Varley is a Yoga Elder and Yoga Acharya sharing non-dual teachings from life experience. She leads classes, workshops, retreats and trainings.