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The Turning of Spring

Posted by on Mar 25, 2010

The seasons turning, one into another, offer us a chance to renew ourselves. As we observe the blossoming forth of new green and endless fragrant flowers in spring, we can accept the none-so-subtle reminder of mother nature to renew our own patterns of thought and behavior. If you have been stuck in a rut, or become too familiar with your current routine, it may be time to renew them.

In yoga, we refer to the many layers of habit which we are trying to break through as koshas. These sheaths, as translated from the Sanskrit, refer to the subtle (and seemingly infinite) layers of consciousness which shroud our true nature. As we remove each kosha, we can find a more subtle, more refined perspective. Just as seeds must be watered after lying dormant within the soil for many months, and then translate sunlight into energy in order to grow up from the detritus of winter, we can grow thorugh the deeper and more dense layers of self towards the light of our higher consciousness.

Winter is not an unnessasary part of the cycle of life, but spring is when we can let rise, the older patterns of our consciosuness, to be aired out and to begin anew. Perhaps a habit that once helped us exist in the material world was once helpful. Perhaps this is why we became so good at acting it out. We then sometimes become strongly attached to a particular pattern of behavior, when all too often, it no longer helps us to survive or thrive in our present environment.

The koshas are usually divided into three main groups, although like colors of the rainbow, there are even more subtle variances of hue between them: Annamaya kosha is considerd the food or material body. Remember that saying – that what you are is what you eat. Most people are operating from this level of consiousness. This is often why yogis are vegetarians or have a very light diet. This is necessary to overcome the density of this kosha — in order to gain a deeper access to the next, called Manomaya kosha.

Manomaya Kosha refers to the mental body. Some people realize themselves from here, but most are still transcending the physical body. Beginners in yoga can often access this state.

Finally, we access the Pranayama kosha, or the vital energy body. More advanced practitioners of yoga are accessing their energy body through the use of pranayama. The yogic tradition, especially the Shastras, defines the breath as the life giving force which animates everything in the Universe.

The cycle or pattern of life itself arises from the breath, so if one can access this more subtle level of causation, we have greater power over that which we create in our environment. R. Buckminster Fuller told us that, “A pattern has integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists. Each chemical element is a pattern integrity. Each individual is a pattern integrity. The pattern integrity of the human individual is evolutionary and not static by nature.”

Just as seed will not lay dormant in the ground forever, the sun and wind, rain and change of season to spring allows the deeper parts of us to unfold into something more grand. It is said that a flower is at its peak of life when its blossoms are fullest and most fragrant. I hope that your practice of yoga can take you to the peak of your blossoming within the cycle of life.

Namaste,
Christina

© 2009, 2010 Christina Sarich, yoga teacher Rockwall, TX

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