Obstacles and Opportunities
When life feels out of alignment, heavy, scattered or overwhelming from obstacles that are too many or too large, a new perspective can be just the reset we need. This can be literal in the sense of stepping away from a situation to gain a broader perspective or a shift in mindset such as looking for opportunities rather than obstacles. Like skiing through the moguls or running downhill on a rocky trail, when we consciously choose to see opportunities rather than obstacles clarity emerges and, with it, stress and tension lessen and we feel more present, connected to and in harmony with our Self and our environment.
This can also be applied to our meditation practice. As obstacles arise – unpleasant sensations, emotions or thoughts – rather than pushing them away or wishing them away, we can see them as messengers delivering information to help us choose right action. A pain in our spine may be a signal to adjust our posture; a fear of uncertainty may be a reminder that this too shall pass and the only thing you can control in life is your response; a thought may just be passing through and simply need to be let go.
In the yoga teachings Ganesh, the great elephant-headed deity, represents this quality of clarity, simplicity and rhythm with life. He is known as the remover, or revealer, of obstacles. As Alanna Kaivalya writes in Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth and Meaning of Mantra and Kirtan, “Ganesh’s outlook on life is essentially that there are no problems. He is basically awesomely okay with everything, including himself. He radiates a calm gaze and sharp focus. Problems do not bother him because he does not resist them or try to avoid them or out-muscle them. Rather, he accepts them and adjusts his attitude and perspective to meet them, and so he reveals the intrinsic power ‘problems’ hold for us.”
The chant, or mantra, you can use to enhance these qualities and characteristics in you is:
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha Salutations to the remover (revealer) of obstacles
As you navigate your way forward in this time of uncertainty may you see opportunities, release unnecessary stress and tension and feel more present, connected to and in harmony with your Self and your environment.
If you’d like to cultivate a greater sense of mind-body connection, wholeness and harmony with life through the practices of yoga and meditation I have space for two more clients in my private practice right now. Together we can tap into the power of gentle, intelligent movement (yoga asana) to connect to the body, the vibration of sound (mantra) to connect to your authentic self, and the quieting practice of meditation to connect your innate wholeness, your core essence of peace and okay-ness.
We can meet live in your home or via Zoom. Contact me to discuss options and tailor a practice specifically to meet your needs. You can see the full list of my services and yoga toolbox here. To discuss options and tailor a practice specifically to meet your needs contact me.
Whatever you choose, please be kind and gentle with yourself. These are unusual times and collective anxiety is high. For change to occur it must begin within. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”