Yes, this is you. A beautiful work of art, always in the making. A vessel through which Creation gets to keep being reborn, re-discovered, and reinvented. You are a container and a channel for good in the world. A vessel of hidden light. How can you expand this vessel, make it bigger, stronger, more available, to all the good that is ready to dwell within you, ready to pour forth from you? How can you begin to reveal your own inner, hidden light to the world?
In the book Torah Yoga, written by one of my teachers Diane Bloomfield, she states “In the Jewish High Holiday liturgy, God is described as a potter who fashions his creations. Pottery is a very old craft for vessel making. Yoga is also a craft for vessel making. With yoga, you become a pottery partner with God and participate in making the vessel of yourself.”
I hold this to be true, in my own yoga and movement practice, and I invite you to explore this idea in your own body and soul.
Here is a basic outline of some ideas I have been bringing to the yoga classes I have taught recently:
- Start with seated mindful breathing. (or on back, knees supported)
- Notice the vessel of your lungs – how much air moves in and out? How much can you contain before the ribs, chest, belly, offer resistance? Just notice. Exhale every breath completely.
- Notice the vessel of the body, areas of constriction, areas of relaxation – without trying to change anything, just notice.
- Tap into the vessel of your mind, both the sense of your physical brain, and the concept of “mind.” How flexible or rigid does it feel in this very moment?
- If you are a visual person, you may explore creatively what your vessel currently looks like- a vase, a bowl, colors, size, texture, etc.
- After this awareness exercise, bring hands to heart and belly and offer a prayer or sacred intention. You might say something like, ” I dedicate my practice today to co-creating a vessel of ______________ (peace, healing, generosity, etc) and allowing my hidden light to reveal itself to the world.”
Diane Bloomfield goes on to say “as you work with the clay of your whole self (body, mind, spirit) you become both a soft and a strong vessel – capable of both receiving and revealing to the world the mysterious hidden light of the first day of creation.”
I’d like to offer the idea that you let the focus of your practice today be strength AND softness. (this could be likened to what is called sthira and sukha in the yoga sutras; a balance of steadiness and ease).
As you move through a yoga, dance, or other mindful movement session, pay very close attention to the following:
- What is strong and working right now? (revealing)
- What is soft and relaxed? (receiving)
- How do my strength and softness work together to mold me into a balanced and beautiful vessel?
Feel yourself coming into a sacred dance of revealing and receiving light…
When you do more active, effort filled movements, imagine light emanating from your body, radiating outward.
As you embrace slower, less active poses and movements, (like child’s pose, or stillness, for example), let this be a time to receive light into your self. With every breath, feel yourself being molded, shaped, and fashioned into a vessel for sacred life. You are a partner with creation, expanding awareness and well-being, revealing the hidden light within.
May your practice reveal your radiance.
Namaste and L’Shalom.