Note from Katrina: This post is from my dear friend and teacher here in New Orleans, Anusara® yoga instructor Cat McCarthy. I love the way she words things. Have fun reading!
The Saints won the Super Bowl…
Mardi Gras has come and gone…
We’ve entered the Chinese Year of the Tiger…
NOW it’s time to get off your asana!
March is the month of activity, refinement, and St. Patrick’s Day… a celebration of luck, shamrocks, and beer in various shades of green. With the slow shift towards sunny and warmer spring weather, I’ve noticed the recent reemergence of clovers along my dog walking routes. The shamrock symbolizes the luck of the Irish.
Ever since I was a kid, I have had the uncanny ability to find 4-leaf to 8-leaf clovers, which is considered serendipitous. One would think that as a member of the McCarthy clan, I have been given a double dose of good fortune in my clover hunting. But is it really luck? If you think about it, one finds a 4-leaf clover by purely seeing the shift in pattern amongst typical 3-lobed leaf plants.
Therefore, what is considered to be fortuitous is actually an ability to spot the breaks in the woven fabric of a quilted clover field. Perhaps there’s luck involved. But I see it as an empowering skill to see changes in patterns and shifts in perspective, so that the full spectrum of life can become favorable. This is the alchemizing foundation of the tantric philosophy of Anusara Yoga.
The word “tantra” in Sanskrit means to loom or to weave. Any fracture in the pattern of the weave of your experience is seen as an entry point deeper into yourself, rather than a problem to be fixed. (Note from Katrina – I LOVE this part!)
So when your patterns no longer work and your personal systems become outmoded, shift your perspective and create a new pattern as you reknit yourself from the inside out. Like the color of the triadic shamrock, green is the color of the heart chakra. The inner weaving begins in your emerald heart, designing new patterns from the threads of your body, mind, and spirit.
In Anusara Yoga, there are three clover leaves that meet in a unified center, known as: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.
“Attitude” determines how and where do you place your heart, so that you never lose the bigger perspective on life. “Alignment” refers to how you entwine your mind and your experiential knowledge to skillfully and gracefully move through your day. And with the heart and head in sync, “Action” expresses your intentions with ultimate economy of effort. When you stop short of realizing your aspiration, then it becomes just a great idea. Therefore, these three aspects of yoga provide the perfect trifecta for the successful soul.
During this Lenten season, I invite you to spotlight your heart’s deepest desires. Look for what you want to manifest in your life, rather than what you don’t want. Shift your vision to see the fortuity in every situation, whether welcomed or not. When you focus your energy on and align with your life-affirming intention, then all breakdowns become breakthroughs. It’s the luck of the Irish in action!
- If you like Cat’s article, or have thoughts to add, please post a comment below! 🙂