Somehow I woke up before my alarm. 4:27 am to be exact, though I could’ve stayed in bed another 13 minutes, I was awake and ready to go to my second day of New Orleans Boot Camp.
It was harder today. We did longer holds in squats, lots of running, crunches, knee lifts, jumping jacks, pushups and a nice extended hold in plank, among other things. There were several times where I had to draw from reserves rooted deep in my will power.
Plus it was wicked cold and windy. I did most of the workout with my toque on (that’s Canadian for winter hat, if y’all didn’t know.)
Yet, as the sky grew lighter the birds started serenading us. The oak trees looked down, maybe laughing a little in their leaves.
Jonas, our fearless leader a.k.a. commander in chief, would every so often remind us to center. Which goes pretty deep for me, like right into the core of my being and way down into the heart of the earth. I’m not sure that’s exactly what he’s getting at, but it sure works in my world. And each time I noticed the bigger picture in this way, it helped me connect with the strength I needed to keep going.
Really, it was great!
See, when we run into challenges (or choose to take on challenges), we can get so much from them. You can grow stronger through discipline and wisdom, and channel your effort into the delight of awakening.
Of course I’m going to turn this boot camp experience into a yoga philosophy lesson. What else did you expect out of me? 🙂
Moving Past Intimidation Into Illumination
As I lay in bed two nights ago – the night before my first morning session of boot camp, I faced an interesting dilemma. I’d gotten myself all stressed out somehow, and had succumb to the feeling of intimidation that often shows up uninvited before entering into the unknown.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I was afraid of – it was just an irrational feeling of unease.
There I was, under the covers, knowing I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning, and I was so worked up there was no way I was going to sleep. I had two choices: I could stew in the silliness of self-created stress, or I could go through the feeling and transform it into something else.
Being the good yoga student, I chose the latter.
Intimidation is a contracted state, and one that focuses on an idea of self that is separate. This idea of separation is cause for all kinds of suffering, but it’s remedied simply enough by remembering that you are connected to something bigger.
Knowing this, I willed myself to relax and turned to my breath. I called my attention to the Spirit within; that which I know as true in my own heart. I asked Spirit for help to turn the contracted feeling of intimidation into a feeling of peace and centeredness.
Breath by breath, the tension faded and was replaced by illumination. Each of us have a light so bright within, that it can transform any energy. By focusing my intention on a pure feeling of connection with that light, I moved through a state of discomfort into a state of peace.
This is something I’ve been practicing for some time, but it’s accessible to anyone. Often we make it harder than it is, yet sometimes it can be very easy too. Simply turn your attention to what you want, and then open up to receive it.
So here I am, Day 2, feeling a bit tired, a little sore, and about to head to my second yoga practice of the day. But I’m at peace because I know that which fuels me is an energy so limitless, so lovingly powerful, that I can do anything to which I set my will.
Want to find out more? Read about my plans to morph this experience into aYoga Fitness Boot Camp in Kamloops.