Relax into Your Practice
by Kino MacGregor
If you’re looking for a sense of ease, grace and effortlessness in your practice, the key lies in finding a sense of spaciousness in your mind. There is a way to practice and to be with your body to create the kind of neurological and structural foundations for a complete sense of openness. There is a way to literally get more flexible without collapsing the core stabilizing patterns of the body. In this way you may learn to practice all types of yoga with an inner awareness that has relaxation as its basis.
Openness in the body relates to acceptance as a state of mind. Acceptance takes in reality in totality and sees without delusion what’s possible and available in the given moment and works with that. Only when we relax the high standards around ourselves, our lives and our practice can we open to that level where apparent set-backs transform into moments for deeper learning. In each moment you are always evolving.
The first step along the path toward allowing more openness into your life is to search out all the places where you’re closed down. Explore the ways in which you experience yourself being contracted, aggressive, tight or tense. Then without trying to change anything about yourself, observe what you see clearly, the location and source of your habitual patterns and your reaction to your observations, all the while practice accepting exactly where you are. Before you can accept the world outside for its apparent shortcoming, you must first practice accepting and being open to your own. Then your body and mind relaxes.
Remaining open in a relaxed field of being is one of the greatest tests of the human spirit. A true state of openness gives birth to new life in each moment, accepting what is as it is. A true state of openness has both dynamic flexibility and a solid foundation.