Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Taking the angle out of theta

So hum, so hum, so hum.

I am That, I am That, I am That.

We chant it, we sing it, we meditate to this mantra. All with the hopes of putting our minds into a place where we understand that all is One (the capital on the "O" is important), that there is a greater (insert what you believe here, some examples: God, power, energy, lifeforce, thingy) out there that we are all a part of.

Yoga, I am finally starting to really understand, is so much more than the poses. Though asana, the physical practice, is a definitely a part of a yogic philosophy, it is only a small part of a much greater entity. Yoga is all about finding the divine, the beauty, in the present moment. Asana, breath with movement, can help to take you there--giving you that, "ah..." moment where everything is right in the world, where you can really settle in a relish the here and now. A yogic lifestyle is all about finding those "ah..." moment in most of, if not all of, our days.

If you will, take a moment and think about how your normal thought patterns run. Mine are, almost exclusively tuned into:
1) Funny/stupid moments in my past.
2) What, exactly I'm doing with my future.
3) What and when I'm going to eat again.
4) Really good times I've had with people I love.
5) How wonderful toilet paper is (I think about this one a lot in India)

Point is, without conscious intent, it is very very very difficult, if not impossible for everyday human beings to live just within the "ah..." moment.

Hence, yoga.

They tell me that there are three main brainwaves that everyone experiences. Beta waves, which comprise the jumping, leapfrogging thoughts we have, the busy bee waves. Alpha waves, which we have when we're relaxed but still have some jumping. And theta waves, the "yogic" thought waves, which we have when we are relaxed and thoroughly within the moment. No jumping, no wanting, no present and no future.

Delicious, theta waves, they are. So much so that people will dedicate their entire lives to finding them.

I'm not sure where I lie in all of this. I'm a pretty skeptical, cynical person--and today I sat in a class where we discussed the negative energy of sarcasm. From an analytical perspective, I really do see how a "yogic" lifestyle would be pretty, you know, awesome.

What if I can't still be me? I'm starting to realize that what I'm learning here has the potential to transform the way I view my life. I just don't know if I really am ready for that, if I even want that.

Sometimes, especially here, I wonder how in the world I'm going to find a balance in all that I'm learning here with all that I already am. Vishvaji, the guru/teacher here, always tells us in our asana practice to "appreciate what we have." I have a lot of trouble with that one, myself.

On a different note, have you ever had a gooseberry? I wouldn't. But try the buttermilk, it's fantastic.

I wish I could upload some photos. The hills here pretty much break my heart every time I look at them they are so ridiculously beautiful.


EricaChao said...

O.O That sounds amazing. If you could get that down, seems like it'd be a beautiful way to live your life.

FWIW, as I see it, as long as you're doing what you enjoy, you'll still be you. Hope you have fun with that :)

Marisa said...

I understand your sentiments--some of the same struggles I had during my yoga intensive. Won't give away my own thoughts and solutions til you're done! Just know you are being sent loving support...

Po said...

Thank you!!!