We truly live in a society where we can be overly stimulated by what's going on around us. There is so much to see that it can be a challenge to take it all in and process. Walk down any street in Manhattan, step into a big-box grocery store, drive down the highway and see all the billboards and signs. It's a miracle that our brains can analyze all of these stimuli.
Too often, though, we turn to these outside stimuli to bring meaning to ourselves and to our lives. We think that if we buy the product that is advertised on that billboard we will somehow become a better person. We see the neighbor next door has a new car and so we may assume that we are not good enough with the "old clunker" we already own. We also turn to outside teachers, signs, symbols, remedies, quick fixes, and more to find our true identity - to figure out who we were are, or who we want to become.
What if the answers are not necessarily "out there?" What if the answers to who you are, what you are, and why you're here are "in here?" If we turn inward, we probably can discover our truest self. Look inside yourself, rather than outside the self, to find true meaning.
The following yoga posture will be a representation of how we can do just that - sit in stillness, pride, and gratitude and turn inward. Look inside ourselves to discover our truth.
Marichi's Pose is a popular seated twisted posture. Marichi literally means "ray of light." Marichi is the son of Brahma and chief of the Maruts ("shining ones"), the war-like storm gods. He's one of the seven (sometimes 10 or 12) seers (rishis) or lords of creation (prajapatis), who intuitively "see" and declare the divine law of the universe (dharma). I think this is an appropriate pose to practice based on our intention. It is a way to intuitively see into one's self: to see your inner light.
Sit on your yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Be sure you are sitting up so your spine is nice an long. Flex your feet, if you'd like, to ensure your legs are straight.
Bend your right knee, drawing your foot up toward your pelvis. Then step your foot over your left leg. Next, extend your left arm forward in front of you. With your right hand placed on the floor behind you for support (right at the base of your spine), bend your left elbow and begin to twist toward the right side of the room. Twist until you are able to "hook" your elbow on the outside of your bent knee. Inhale to lengthen your spine more. As you exhale, draw your belly button in toward your spine (creating an abdominal lock). This will create more room in your waist line as well as the ability to perhaps twist deeper into the pose. Hold the posture for at least 10 breaths.
While in this pose, imagine that you are turning inward, or looking inside of yourself. Sit in this quiet and stillness. No need to think about anything. Just focus on your breath. Allow this space you created to organically allow you to feel and experience your true self: your inner being.
Be sure to practice the pose on the other side.