me, God, someone I fancy, my future progeny?
Tonight in Melody's class, we began with three oms. Mel asked that as we om each time, we om with a particular intention, om with a person or being in mind. I loved this, because these days, I should pray more than I do, but inevitably I don't. So when I practice, and I'm breathing and om-ing, it is my prayer, my connection with the Divine. I love how Melody brings the focus in every class to a connection with something larger than ourselves. She rocks. Period.
I've spent my life as a Greek Orthodox Christian. But I'm beginning to see how I'm becoming more like many yogis I know who are deeply spiritual, without participation in organized religion, per se. I can't say that I will ever leave Orthodoxy, as it gives me a lot of other things I don't get anywhere else. Then again, having said that, at the moment, I'm a bit put off as I am researching what it will take for my church to divorce me after the state does, and I'm not liking the draconian rules that, as my sister-in-law put it, will practically require me to "wear a big red letter" on my chest. No, I did not commit adultery. Hell no. But the rules for divorce in the Greek Orthodox church are so stringent that I might as well be branded with the "A," 'cause once the state divorces me, and until the church divorces me, I'm a bit of a pariah. It's ridiculous. But that is another matter—and another blog—entirely.
Sorry for the diversion...the crux of the matter is this: yoga, when it is practiced with honorable intent and taught the same, provides such a deep spiritual connection that it is easy to begin to feel like you can forego the whole church scene. I've never been an every-Sunday churchgoer, and I'm actually only currently involved in Greek Orthodoxy because I (luckily) found a more progressive Greek church and defected to it at about the point that I was planning to bail once and for all. But I'm getting sidetracked again, so let me re-focus: yoga is good from beginning to end. A to Z. Alpha to Omega, as the Greeks would say. What you get, when it's delivered purely, is not just a physical challenge, flexibility, and centeredness. You get the feeling that you have a sort of omniscience, and a contentment that can't be pinpointed to one particular thing. It is a general goodness, an overwhelming sense of calm—equanimity—that threads itself through every aspect of your life.