Another chant I learned a few years ago that still sticks with me is "Om Namah Shivaya Gurave," the Anusara Invocation, though I'm not an 'Anusara Yogi.' To me it's beautiful, and I love the meaning. Find the chant, translation and my version below.
A few years ago I learned to chant the Gayatri Mantra with the intention of doing so for my students during Savasana. I did so just before I stopped teaching group classes. Since that time I've continued to chant it simply because I think it's beautiful. To learn the chant, I found a few versions I liked online, learned the lyrics and melody and just started practicing. I thought I’d write a post in case anyone else is interested in learning it. Below are the words, translation and my version of the chant.
"letting go doesn't mean forgetting; it means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present" (yung pueblo) Yes, yes and more yes; this resonates deeply but how do we actually DO IT? From my experience, it seems something 'just happens,' a shift suddenly occurs OR we struggle for so long that we eventually must ritualize a new energy into our consciousness ... we must physically do something different, poetic, scary, out-of-character.
As I'm growing older I'm thinking a lot about aging and beauty. We are lucky to be living in a time of such body positivity. Countless social media accounts promote loving oneself exactly as-is, and in doing so, the message is becoming mainstream -- how different from television advertising days of my youth. I taught yoga for ten years, and during that time I promoted body positivity, giving thanks for our bodies, owning our strengths and limitations. And while it's what I taught, I didn't fully live it. We teach most what we need to learn. I had body dysmorphia (and maybe still do sometimes) and while I acted empowered, I didn't always believe in my own power. Sometimes I still look at other women and think, "why can't I look like that?" But those thoughts are destructive and I'm working my way through them.
Each day, a new beginning. Each moment too. Sometimes life is too much. And when it is, what do you do? Do you obsess and worry over things you can’t control? Do you berate yourself for the bad choices you’ve made? Do you wake each morning with the angst of yesterday or the dread of tomorrow? The world’s weight on your shoulders is, in part, a choice. Do you choose to let it take you over, or do you choose something different? Can you allow yourself to go to sleep and let it go? Awaken brand new? It’s possible, you know. Life always moves through. While we are always the same, we’re so very different too. The only constant in life is change. New beginning emerge, full of possibility and wonder when you choose to take control.
Where did that saying come from and why did so many of us buy into it? And if we bought in, what does that mean for our lives? There are literally thousands of things to be aggravated with each day — traffic, electronic malfunctions, unkind people, general hassles, minor inconveniences — but how much does aggravation help? Does it help at all or does it make things worse? In my experience, the latter is true. “Thoughts become things” is a statement I latched onto years ago. I don’t absolutely know it’s true, but it certainly feels true. Every time I allow myself to get caught up in frustration, it seems frustration expands and grows worse, but when I allow myself to stay calm, I conquer the situation, or at least weather it better. Life is as we look at it. Things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. This is a hard concept to grasp when life sucks. Because sometimes it does. I choose to frame situations from the soul’s perspective instead of the ego’s view and it makes a big difference. The next time you think “this sucks” or “I hate my life” or “why me?” or the infamous “life sucks and then…
I went to the doctor the other day for a routine visit. The woman checking me in had a bracelet that read ‘content’ with the words facing toward me. I told her I liked it and she said, “Yeah, anytime I complain I’m supposed to move it to the other wrist and turn the word toward me. It helps.” Indeed. I’ve kept a gratitude journal every day for years, I told her. “It’s changed my life.” And what I’ve found over all of these years is that we can complain about anything and everything, but the more negative we are, the more the negativity seeps into other areas of life. If, however, we can give thanks for all of the little things, they add up, and bigger blessings follow — or they don’t, in which case we give thanks for the unexpectedness of life. A 10 Step Gratitude Practice Wake up. Open your eyes. Take a slow deep breath. Feel it fully. Give thanks for this simple, yet profound God-given gift. Walk to your kitchen. Make your morning cup. Take a sip. Really taste it. Give thanks for the simple yet complex taste of your chosen morning drink. Take a look outside. Open the window if it’s warm…