Yoga Teacher Douglas (Vishal) Brook at the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne shares his thoughts on how to use your Mysore practice as a moving meditation for peace:
I teach many classes every week and so I am always giving instructions and talking about the postures. Yet personal Mysore practice is a very profound quiet, internal experience.
Today as I did my own Mysore practice I was struck by how Mysore practice in a quiet room is truly a moving meditation tuning us in to peace.
If we see the Earth from out in space it is a peaceful, beautiful blue orb. Nature is peace and beauty. Shanti.
Yet humans seem so good at creating chaos and conflict. Our true home, our real state is peaceful yet the modern world is full of tension and conflict. It is as if we are trained to blame, to seek revenge and to attack. We need to end this cycle. It is the human mind that is to blame – a blessing and a curse.
Yoga really is about mind control. If only we could control this amazing mind and move towards a more enlightened state. Yet it is as if we are mad monkeys with a big brain and lots of technology and we are destroying the harmony of nature with it. The animals can live in harmony with nature yet we do not. It is the mind that separates us from the animals. True they may attack each other but they do not destroy nature as humans do.
Nature is perfection – food grows on trees and water falls from the sky! We have all these gifts – if only we could learn to live in harmony with nature. If we could control the mind and tune in to the peace within us – the shanti – we could tune back in to the source of existence and our true nature which is peace.
Today in Mysore as each breath took me from pose to pose, the breath calmed my mind and tuned me in – like a radio tuning in to the station. That is the gift of the Mysore practice – just you and your breath and the silence ( and the other yogis also tuning in and nurturing teachers!) It calms this mind.
When the mind is calm our higher self is exposed. Perhaps we can then develop kindness instead of blame and creativity instead of chaos.
A definition of spirituality is compassionately considering others. This can lead us to peace. If two cars are trying to go down a narrow lane and they are stuck facing each other they can honk but they remain stuck. Yet if one will reverse and allow the other past both will win. That is the power of a more enlightened approach. That can lead to peace. Our true nature is peaceful. Follow your breath – allow it to tune you in.