Today’s Class Notes
Spanda is the Sanskrit word that refers to the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it manifests itself in every living form. Spanda teaches that reality is inherently creative rather than static. To invoke Spanda in your yoga practice, try these steps:
1. Find Stillness – Listen to the breath and allow the breath to replace the thinking mind. Merge with the breath instead of pushing the body around with only your muscle or mind power.
2. Invite Grace – Turn your senses inward and get in tune with your nature. Let go of self judgement or predisposed thoughts, especially those that start with “I can’t” or “I’m not”.
3. Find Spanda – Follow your own creative urges; a spontaneous expression of aliveness; Think of your mat as a playground and let the inner-child out. Continue to let the breath guide you, listening attentively to your own inner rhythm. Breath with more vigor in poses that require fire and stamina. Use the gentle breath to bring softness to a pose. In each pose, let your curiosity lead you to the point where you bump up to your limitations.
Connecting to what drives us aligns us with our core beliefs and interests, leading to a more joyful practice on the mat and presence off the mat.
A poem I used in class this morning –
“I am cherry alive,” the little girl sang, “Each morning I am something new: I am apple, I am plum, I am just as excited As the boys who made the Hallowe’en bang: I am tree, I am cat, I am blossom too: When I like, if I like, I can be someone new, Someone very old, a witch in a zoo: I can be someone else whenever I think who, And I want to be everything sometimes too: … But I don’t tell the grown-ups: because it is sad, And I want them to laugh just like I do Because they grew up and forgot what they knew And they are sure I will forget it some day too. They are wrong. They are wrong. When I sang my song, I knew, I knew! I am red, I am gold, I am green, I am blue, I will always be me, I will always be new!”