Wake Up!

stress reliefThis morning, my sweet yoga teacher encouraged me to wake up. Not directly, as in, “Wake up and pay attention, Maria. You look a little sleepy today!” It was a general teaching for the class. But it caught my attention for more reasons than one. For one, I was a little sleepy. I’d noticed I was a bit slow in getting going and getting to class today – not completely unusual for me, but a little more noticeable on a gray winter morning. Another reason the topic caught my attention is that just an hour or so earlier over morning coffee, my husband and I were kicking around the concept of “waking up” in the sense of clearing cobwebs from our brains and becoming more focused and productive.

Then I got to class, where our teacher shared some wisdom that she’d learned at a workshop she’d recently attended. The workshop leader was Guru Singh, whose book, “Buried Treasures,” I recently read with my yoga book club. Coincidence? I’d say probably not. When I walked into class and saw another one of Guru Singh’s books at the front of the room, I knew the universe was trying to get my attention. As is often the case, yoga seems to get at the heart of whatever is happening in my life.

Awakening

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I’m not sure when exactly how the idea of waking up came into play (since I was still asleep until it was mentioned), but when it did come up, I certainly took note since the topic had been so persistent this day.

So what does it mean to wake up in the yogic sense of the phrase?

We talk about awakening a lot in yoga. As our teacher (via Guru Singh) explained, it’s something that is always available. In my own practice, I’ve found that when we learn to pay attention, we open our eyes, hearts and minds to what is – what has always been. Of course, I can’t tell you exactly what all that is yet – because I’m still not fully awake – but I can attest to the fact that the more you pay attention, the more you will realize that you’ve really spent a lot of time napping.

Are you ready?

Another thing discussed today was the idea of waking up quickly. This came up not only in yoga class, but in the morning coffee talk in which my husband mentioned how he wished he could get going more easily in the morning. Our yoga teacher suggested that it’s not easier to go slowly, waiting until we’re “ready,” but instead, we should just jump in because we’ve either always been ready or we will never be! That didn’t sit well with me at first, but when I thought about it more, it did. But you see, I was even going slowly into the idea of awakening quickly. (The good news is I’m apparently not alone in this habit.)

There are things I’ve always been ready for (like starting a yoga practice), and it wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to jump into a practice but that I wasn’t aware that it was something I was meant to do until, one day, there it was. So I think the idea of dabbling and going slowly happens naturally when we’re not yet sure if the thing we’re exploring is meant for us. We’re not all meant for the same things, after all. On the other hand, there is probably at least one thing (and probably many more) that keeps coming up for you in such a way that you know it is meant for you. You just don’t know how to do it or where to begin.

Your teacher is already here

They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. But if resonate with Guru Singh’s position and you believe that you have always been ready for the thing (or things) you’re meant for, then maybe the real issue is that you’re not awake to the fact that your teacher is already here.

All I can say about that is wake up and pay attention!

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. She has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at www.wellbeingwriter.net.

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