Thank you Millie Sarin from Sister Talk ALL Fm 96.9 for inviting me onto your drive time show on 10th January. Laughter is the best medicine for the so-called January blues and I can honestly say I had a hoot! If anybody would like to hear the show get in touch and I can send you the recording! It may also be available soon through the Listen Again tab on their website.
When Millie asked me to do the show, two immediate things came to mind:
- Sankalpa – a kind of yogic resolution, not just appropriate for the New Year
- The Other Shore – a translation of the Buddhist Heart Sutra by Thich Nhat Hanh
So what is a Sankalpa?
According to Wikipedia it is ‘an intention formed from the heart and mind, a one-pointed resolve to focus on a specific goal’. For me, it is a positive statement of becoming, lead by the heart, acknowledging that all things can, and do, change. It is a letting go of unhelpful habits and thought patterns, and a welcoming of shiny new ones.
But why wait until the New Year to make a change? A Sankalpa, or any new resolution, can be made at any time. The way I do this is to clear the mind by lying down in Savasana (you could do a few preparatory yoga moves first if you like), and allow the new resolution to come from the heart. Don’t think too much, just allow the heart to lead for a change. And imagine what the new you looks like, how you feel, how you look, how you think. This gives tremendous energy to the transformation, whether BIG or small (a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and all that).
So…lead by the heart, and if you do happen to fail, brush yourself down and start again – after all failure is temporary, only giving up is permanent. I read this once so it must be true.
And what about The Other Shore?
To cut a long story short, I went to see the Dalai Lama quite a few years ago, (along with several thousand other people). He spoke for several days and the only bit I can remember is…meditate on emptiness. Hmm.
Fast forward fifteen years or so, and I found the Buddhist Heart Sutra (or it found me) as a result of being at a Yoga retreat at the Mandala Yoga Ashram in South Wales. This is a classic Buddhist text translated by Thich Nhat Hanh in a book ‘The Other Shore’ which explores and explains the concept of emptiness.
It is the acceptance that the body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness are impermanent. News flash – they all change, or as some bloke said a few thousand years ago ‘All Things Must Pass’.
- The body changes as we grow and age – there is no stopping that, even Botox..
- How we feel changes – without the bad, how can we appreciate the good? You are not going to believe this, but celebrities have bad days too. Yes it’s true!
- How we perceive things changes – don’t policemen and teachers look younger these days?
- Mental formations, or thought constructs, change over time. Practice mindfulness meditation and watch the mind, see if you notice any thought constructs telling you how things should be. Are they really being helpful or just trapping you in a box?
- And finally, consciousness changes. This is the real message (in my humble opinion) of all the great religions…a transformation of consciousness, a moving from the small mind to the BIG mind. A moving to the Other Shore (just like Jesus did at the Sea of Galilee – me thinks this is a metaphor).
As David Bowie said: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…
So like a river, flowing – it is impossible to jump into the same river twice and at the same time it is impossible for the river to have the same person jump into it twice.
So there you have it. This is wot I thunk about when Millie asked me to go onto her show. And if you want to dance along with me and Millie to Herb Alpert’s Spanish Flea, you’ll have to listen to the show.
David Glover has been practicing yoga for about 20 years and is still a complete beginner every time he gets on the mat. His first teacher was the wonderful Mary Freeman who set him off on his journey. He then did a BWY Foundation course with Yoga Ted in Stockport, and went on to train with Sarah Beck, qualifying as a teacher through the British Wheel of Yoga in 2012. More recently, David studied Synergistic Healing with Julie Guilliam in the Lake District, and finds that energy healing and yoga work well together.
David’s philosophy is simple – stretch and strengthen the body, and relax the mind.
Classes are run every Friday night from 6pm – for more information visit www.bendyoga.co.uk