Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chatty Cathy

For those of you who were looking for this post earlier (like last night), I apologize. I begin a round of steroids the day before chemo and take them through the day after chemo. They don't make me overeat nor do they give me "roid rage" but they do turn me into Chatty Cathy. Sadly, I know that I'm doing it but I can't stop myself! Unfortunately for Deb & Kim (my friends and colleagues at AWP) they were on the receiving end of it tonight! Now don't get me wrong, we had a great converasation. We spent a great deal of time discussing religion, yoga and eastern philosophy as Kim is a yoga instructor. So, I did not return home until 3am! I have to apologize to Deb and Kim if I kept them up too late but I thank you for letting me yak at you!
Did you know that people often think of yoga as merely a physical practice. The true measure of progress in yoga, however, is the amount of peace that is experienced in life. Yoga is an ancient eight-fold physical, mental and spiritual system. It consists of yamas and niyamas (ethical codes of conduct), asanas (steady poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation), leading to samadhi (the superconscious state, bliss, or deep peace). The primary aim of yoga is moksha, or liberation. Yoga can lead practitioners to experience true inner freedom, peace and harmony within ourselves and with all that exists: other people, but also with the animals and plants, the ground that they walk on and the very air they breathe.
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word "yug," which means "to create union." The primary union in yoga is the union that exists between spirit and matter. It's believed that the link between the body, mind and spirit is the breath. The breath is the spirit that sustains life, as in "the holy spirit" of Christianity. Yoga, though having roots in Hinduism, is not a religion. The regular practice of yoga, can, however, deepen religious faith and help one progress along a spiritual or religious path. Yoga is an expression of the fundamental unity of life. The practice leads to a place inside of the self that is free from worry, fear, anxiety and ordinary worldly concerns. Yoga is not just a practice of asanas and pranayamas. Rather, these yoga practices equip a person with a heightened awareness that enables him/her to celebrate a common essence that pervades all human activities. Deb, we really have to have Kim teach us yoga!

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