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To the Core


DSCN0303A morning shower can be an time of deep, free-flowing thought … something about the mixture of a sleep-refreshed yet still-fuzzy brain with the soothing warmth of the water that often brings the mind through interesting territory.  This morning was like that for me.  I was thinking about tonight’s yoga class, which will focus on core work.  When we use the term “core work” in yoga class, it usually refers to working out the muscles of the center of the body, the torso.  When I think of a good core workout, I imagine that the next day I feel it in my abdomen, hips, buttocks, back and possibly chest.

In the loving embrace of the morning shower, however, I connected with other possibilities:  that a REALLY good core workout would connect with the REST of the core of me.  What, really, is the “core” of my being?  The center, the kernel, the essence?  Surely it’s not my belly and butt?!  I think most people would answer that it’s the heart, the mind, the soul, or some combination of those things.  And so, when you think of a good core work in THIS context, how do you imagine feeling afterward?

The beauty of yoga is that a strong practice connects with both the core muscles and the core of one’s being.  Focusing on synchronizing the breath and the body leads naturally to the connection of body-mind-spirit, and to the realization that their union enhances the experience of life dramatically.  The teacher can only hold up this possibility;  it is up to each of us as practitioners to dive in.  To follow the life-giving breath in and in, all the way to the core.  There, resting there, in the present moment.

Go In and In

Go in and in.
Be the space
between two cells,
the vast, resounding
silence in which spirit dwells.
Be sugar dissolving on
the tongue of life.

Dive in and in,
As deep as you can dive.
Be infinite, ecstatic truth.
Be love conceived and born in union.
Be exactly what you seek,
the Beloved, singing Yes,
tasting Yes, embracing Yes,
until there is only essence;
the All of Everything
expressing through you
as you.

Go in and in and turn
away from nothing that
you find.

~ From Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga by Danna Faulds

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