Yoga: Aligning with the Natural Cycles of Life
|words by Corey Lakusiak|
“The world of nature exists within a larger pattern of cycles, such as day and night and the passing of the seasons. The seasons do not push one another; neither do clouds race the wind across the sky; all things happen in good time; everything has a time to rise, and a time to fall. Whatever rises, falls, and whatever falls shall rise again; that is the principle of cycles.”
For as long as I can remember, I have loved the outdoors. There is something so magical about spending hours on end hiking through the forest, paddleboarding on the lake, or simply sitting on the beach, feet buried in the sand, watching the world go by. It is in these moments that I feel most deeply connected to myself and to Nature. From this perspective it is easy to see the natural cycles of life and to know my place within them.
But living a modern life means to find a balance between spending time in the solitude of nature and engaging with the hustle and bustle of daily life. Besides being a nature lover, I am also a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, student, home-maker, artist, community leader, and yoga studio owner. These rolls are the ones that keep me connected to my friends, family and community and they give my life a real sense of passion and purpose.
So how does one strike the balance between Nature and modern living? For me, the balance is found in practice. Each time that I step onto the mat is an opportunity for me to reconnect with myself and to tap into my natural rhythms. I approach my practice as an opportunity to get to know myself from the inside out...like taking myself on a date. The natural cycle of the breath draws my awareness deep inside to a place that I can only access when in practice. Years of dedicated studentship have allowed me to learn how to move beyond the outer layers of my physical body so that I may cross the inner threshold to a place where I feel rooted in my being and connected to life itself.
Over the years, this inner gateway has become the portal to aligning not only with my ‘Self’, but with Nature. Yoga helps me to see the bigger picture and my connection to it. It is from this place that I am able to appreciate the cyclical nature of my life; the ups and downs and ins and outs of day-to-day living. By aligning with these natural cycles, I am able to see that Nature has the same cyclical way of being; sunrises and sunsets, the waxing and the moon, and the changing of the seasons.
When I am in practice, I feel like I am in the flow of life. But when I am out of practice, I feel out of balance with myself and Nature, and tend to struggle in all aspects of life.
Sometimes, realigning is just a matter of recommitting to my asana or meditation practice, but this does not always work. There are times when my practice feels ‘dry’ and I have a hard time reconnecting with the juiciness of life. In these times, I know that the key for me is being in Nature; submerging myself into the forest, taking a long paddle across the lake, or just sitting on the beach and quite simply becoming a witness to the bigger picture.
I am looking forward to sharing my experience of learning to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of life at the ‘New Moon Goddess Gathering’ at Prairie Love Festival during September 12th's New Moon. Surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature and steeped in the potent darkness of the New Moon, I will share yogic practices that will stretch and open your body, assist in drawing your awareness deep inside and helping you to realign with the natural cycle of life.