These days in Toronto it’s a bit of a fashion crisis, figuring out what to wear when one day the temperature is 20° Celsius, and another day it dips to 6°. Today is a perfect cool-ish sunny Sunday,16° (feels like 10°), and I’m heading out to Chopra Yoga Toronto, to participate in one of their community events, in the hot yoga studio, where the temperature is set to 32° (feels like 32°).
In so far as Sunday’s go, I often take the day to disconnect from the grid, but remain connected with people, if you know what I mean. I don’t have a garden to tend, or perhaps my earthy side might be digging dirt, or planting flowers. Sometimes I go for a walk and find quiet places for contemplation or meditation.
Today, I’m called to a different kind of “double-header,” Power Vinyasa Foundationclass, followed by a guided Meditation. According to Deepak Chopra’s “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” today is the “Law of Pure Potentiality.”
“The source of all creation is pure consciousness … pure potentiality seeking creation from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that our true self is one of pure potentiality, we align with the power that manifests everything in the universe. Pure potentiality is the field of all possibilities and infinite creativity.” ~ Deepak Chopra
As I place my mat down, with all the essential accoutrements, I am aware of my belief that how we are on the mat is a reflection of our selves in the world. I give thanks that I’m here after a long hibernation period, and just in case, (I become overwhelmed or verklempt), I’ve brought plenty of water, a towel, bolster, and blocks for support. I am feeling vulnerable, but trust the process, and I know that even if I simply sit on the mat, there is power in support from the energy of the group.
Power Vinyasa Foundation is a slower practice, geared to beginners or anyone wanting to take more time to review the asanas. Ultimately, any level benefits from the intention to slow down and connect.
Here in this moment I surrender to spirit, and forget about any worries, relationships, the weather, other stuff, (over which I really have no control anyway), and focus on the mind-body connection instead. This reflective Sunday, my escape to engage pure potentiality, helps me lean into my body, noticing areas that need tending, not unlike gardening, watering a plant, or deepening roots.
After the class, there’s a break to enjoy some tea in the tea lounge, a little snack and some conversation. The event is hosted by “Lole” active wear for women, a Canadian clothing company which aspires to motivate well-being and peace. Besides being a clothing brand, Lole is committed to giving back to the community. This summer they’re taking their cause on tour, stopping in Toronto on June 22, 2013 (www.lolewomen.com/whiteyoga). Aptly named “The White Yoga Session” where everyone dresses symbolically in white, it is a practice dedicated to peace: “peace in motion.”
“The White Yoga Session represents us, creating space to come together and to share one message, one emotion, which is peace” ~ Grace Dubery, (Yoga Instructor leadingthe #LoleWhite, Toronto)
Part two of the “double-header” is a meditation. Sitting comfortably, the warmth of the room and candlelight is soothing. After the vinyasa class I can feel my body settling and more relaxed,
Leading the meditation is the Director of Chopra Yoga Toronto, Vivian Wong.
“You don’t have to have all the answers today, but take the time to ask the questions and they will manifest when the time is ready.”
“Who am I?
What do I want?
What does my body and soul need in order to be nourished?
What is my dharma? What is my purpose in life?
How can I serve those around me with my unique abilities?”
Focusing on the breath, the mantra we use is “so-hum.” I first learned about it from one of my favourite books written by Deepak Chopra, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire,” but he often explains the mantra in his teachings, as well as in the 21-Day Meditation practice, offered online 2-3 times throughout the year, (https://www.facebook.com/ChopraMeditation). So-hum is the mantra of the breath; as you inhale, the vibration is “so” and as you exhale it is “hum.”
We focus on our breath, with eyes closed, inhaling (so) and exhaling (hum), where gradually our breath becomes very quiet. It’s ok if thoughts come into the mind, just observe them and let them go. Soon the breath is so quiet and the silence in the room is like a blanket, gently wrapping us with love. At some point I forgot I was sitting in a yoga room full of people, and yet I always notice a stronger vibration of relaxation when I meditate with a group. After about 15- 20 minutes we release the mantra and return our focus to the room, and feeling freer, lighter to carry on with the day. One thing I know forsure is that I always feel better after yoga, and after meditation, than when I arrived.
Pausing to let life catch up with you is nourishing to the soul… Yoga has always been an outlet, for me to connect with people, and to myself, turning inward. Since I’ve been away from the practice for a while, I was curious to hear about something new and different happening in the city. I have taken part in yoga fundraisers, yoga in the park, and yoga festivals before. There’s a kind of feel good, a la flash-mob, fun feeling about“The White Yoga Session,” and I’m down with that.
No matter how I look at it, there’s a sort of natural orchestration, being outdoors in the park, which appeals to everyone, whether you are participating in yoga or simply witnessing and enjoying the weather. Today, 24° (feels like 30°).
For more information on The White Yoga session:
Twitter: @LoleWhite www.lolewomen.com/whiteyoga
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