Loving Presence/Psoma Yoga 6 Week Course Overview
Psoma Yoga is present centered, body centered, heart centered, experiential and experimental.
In this practice we go beyond right or wrong ways of being, ‘correct’ poses, to a discovery of self as we are in movement, stillness and response. We practice through the lens of loving presence, compassion for self, the practice of gently expanding into new ways of being, new ways to experience a relaxed and nourishing approach to life. We learn the wisdom of the body’s holding patterns, and we slow down to pay attention to what we are already doing. We move from a desire to fix or change ourselves to a fascination, appreciation and study of how we are, through the aspects of loving presence. As we open to ourselves and soften, we also open to the gifts and magic of the others around us, and move into an inexpressible appreciation for others as part of our whole. We embrace the gifts of their presence, and form a deep communion, a community of love that we want to continue to explore and expand.
Classes are a mixture of breathing and movement exercises, asana, mindfulness practices, partner exercises and group exercises and discussion.
Each class will include experiential practices that will highlight each aspect of Loving Presence, and practices will be provided between classes. At the same time, each class will support participant through the experience of loving presence.
We begin by establishing a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness orients us to the present with loving curiosity and beginner’s mind to what is here. Perhaps there is just one minute of the day where we are fully present. That minute is a miracle. What if we were to begin to string those minutes together? As we shift from living on autopilot to fully being present and observing ourselves, we realize that we are not what we are observing, we are in fact awareness itself, the observer. This invites a quality of neutrality to what we experience. This helps us relax our attachment or aversion to the way of things. In this way the distressing body experiences can be observed, tolerated, even loved. Perhaps we don’t go right to our habitual self-soothing, but just stay with ourselves for a moment longer.
Who am I in relation to others? I am potentially triggered by others, and this impacts every aspect of body and being. As I learn to study myself in relation to another, I notice how I shift inside with your presence, with your words, and with the images that you invoke, or even with the thought or memory of you. To paraphrase Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun, when we are triggered, go to the body, and bring compassion to yourself. When I am triggered and take it out on the world, I add to the pain of the world. When I learn to study, with love and self-appreciation even in the midst of intensity, I begin to create space and return us all to wholeness.
We are spacious, and that has multiple meanings, and impacts us in many ways. As we recognize our spacious nature, we also ‘create space’ around the objects of our attention. Or, we notice that the space is already there. Perhaps we breathe, stretch, relax into that space, begin to find a pathway into the spacious present, and allow ourselves to let go of the need to know, predict, or control life. Life is already working, and we are learning to bring our love to it.
In a way, I have invented you based on my experience and perceptions. There is an illusion of separation, and the sense of you as having something I need, or that there is something wrong here, or that there is a defense that needs to be moved. We might struggle with each other in some subtle way. And then, somehow I shift and see through beyond the illusion to the essence of you. I m filled with the intoxicating fragrance of you, and I am able to relax into the gift that you bring.
As you shift in my perception I realize that I am being filled. Your essence alone is a gift to me. I experience your gifts, and who you are unravels in ecstasy at my feet. I open to who you are as nourishing, and I make it a practice to find non-egocentric sources of nourishment in many situations in my life. Perhaps I can begin to see every situation and every person as a source of nourishment and inspiration. What if I were to dedicate myself to this as a practice? How would I do this? Sometimes I notice that I make up stories about others that make them wrong, less than, or out to hurt me. What if I changed the story I am making to one where I can feel inspired and nourished?
Just Being Present
My intention is to follow. I lead, I assist, by following you. I love where you are in your natural unfolding. There is no force, nothing to do but be present with you. Who is the giver, and who is the receiver? I am curious, inviting, allowing you to be with yourself. What would be nourishing? What has been missing that you are ready to hear and feel?