If you can’t go outside – go inside!

‘Surrender to Existence, accept yourself as you are, do everything with total awareness’

We have been a bit quiet on the social media front here at Kalyan Yoga – although far from quiet in reality, packing our bags and making the long awaited move from Manchester to South Devon.

It is difficult to find the words to describe the current environment – we have experienced ALL the feels recently. If you have been feeling challenging emotions, such as fear, anxiety, doubt, uncertainty – please know that you are not alone and it is ok to experience this!

I, (Sabina), experienced quite intense feelings of fear and anxiety making the move in such uncertain times. I felt deep feelings of scarcity, not having the essentials to cook food with and being without the comforts that I have grown so used to having, such as a washing machine and a fridge.

There have been many moments when I have been fully identified with the feelings.The pinnacle culminated with me crying on the steps of our place when the delivery guys wouldn’t bring our (extremely heavy) washing machine into the house because of the virus (and then utter relief when they saw my panic and agreed to bring it up the stairs). On the flip side, there have been moments of profound joy, gratitude and happiness.The lockdown has provided an intimate time to nest in our new abode, reinvigorate our hatha yoga practice and dive deep into meditation.

On an even deeper level, the upheaval and shocks to the system have been profound opportunities to become very present. Eckhart Tolle succinctly writes ‘How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment.The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else’. And the beauty is that it is true! Surrendering to What Is – as opposed to what ‘should or could be’, affords the us the greatest freedom imaginable.

When we are present, we are also afforded the opportunity to face challenging emotions and thoughts head on – revealing their unreal nature.

Rumi (one of the most celebrated Sufis of all time), said that to be a Sufi meant ‘to feel joy in the Heart when sorrow appears’. Our teacher Sahajananda, explained that what Rumi was referring to, is the capacity to sublimate personal emotions (including sorrow, fear, and anxiety), into the freedom of the infinite heart. Sahajananda says that ‘even during a pandemic, sorrow can be sublimated in compassion and Love’.

In this way, we can begin to see moments of feeling overwhelmed by difficult emotions or thoughts as opportunities. Opportunities for what? 1. To remain as present as possible. 2. To anchor ourselves in the heart. 3. To act from that place.

We know first hand how intense and challenging times like this can be, and how easy it is to run with our thoughts and become identified with emotions. However, with practice, it becomes easier and eventually, witnessing from the heart becomes our natural way of being.

Sahajananda also highlighted the importance of meditation, calling it ‘the meditation remedy’. Meditation is a practice that requires us to remain intimately present and witness whatever is arising in our being. By simply watching our thoughts and emotions with an equanimous attitude, we invite more spaciousness and freedom. Even more profoundly, our inner most essence can be revealed as a state of clear, centered awareness and love. As put by Sahajananda, by becoming nothing we become everything.

There are many beautiful offerings at the moment for free online mediation and yoga. We would encourage you to explore these offers – this time of isolation is the perfect opportunity to explore the inner realms of your being! (If you can’t go outside – go inside!)

We will be offering online guided meditations every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 April. Unfortunately we are not able to offer these any earlier, as we don’t have wifi connected yet! However, other dear friends are making many beautiful offerings now – check them out!

Hridaya Yoga France is offering 1 hour meditations via Facebook Live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.00am CET

-Hridaya teacher, Stephan Oesterreicher is offering two hour meditation via Zoom at 8am-10am German time

-Senior Hridaya Teacher, Antonaneta is leading a 49 day tapas dedicated to Goodness Tara. (Check out the Hridaya Yoga France page for details).

Sending everyone deep love, in times of uncertainty and joy.

‘Surrender to Existence, accept yourself as you are, do everything with total awareness’

The Odyssey of Enlightenment by Berthold Madhukar Thompson

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