Yoga can be really juicy. There are days when going through asana practice may feel like going through a juicer – twisting and turning, shaking and frothing, and squeezing out all kinds of stuff, leaving the body light and the mind deliciously cleansed.
In yoga philosophy, there is a sacred juice or nectar called soma, the nectar (amrita) of immortality which falls drop (bindu) by drop from the head down through the heart into the fire (agni) of the belly… like an offering of purified butter (ghee) tossed into the sacred fire.
This juice, like our life energy, we revere and use judiciously. We even turn ourselves upside down in salamba sarvangasana (shoulder stand) to keep some of those drops back up above our heart.
But practice is not always juicy. In dry spells when that snooze alarm seems to go on forever, and it takes all we’ve got just to get to the mat, there are ways we can grease the wheels.
For those with a more emotional tendencies, the best source of juice is bhakti. Bhakti means devotion. We can set an intention before starting the asana practice; we can be conscious that the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) is on some level just that – a tribute to the Fire in the Sky and inside us that makes us alive.
Whisper to yourself a prayer, any prayer. Thank God (the name or term for the Divine doesn’t matter of course) for the fire in your belly that is making you hungry, that will digest that cheese and olive breakfast that you may soon take at the sacred ritual of breakfast. 😉
Another simple but powerful source of juice is to thank the Divine for being granted the opportunity of being alive on this day, and promise ourselves that we will try to remain conscious of this fact all day.