Just a circus

Yoga is an internal practice. The rest is just a circus.

Words by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois

I read these in a book today and they made me smile.

The circus. I like that a lot. Doing my yoga and other exercises is all circus. The visible layer of fun and costumes that sits above the internal practice.

All the effort of the physical movement is just smoke and mirrors for the deep internal work being done.

The book was Mindful Living by Katie Manitsas an advanced level Jivamukti Yoga Teacher and a Wise Earth Ayurveda master teacher. I’ve just started reading it.

Last night she gave a talk at Better Read Than Dead in Newtown accompanied by a mantra meditation. It was a moving experience.

Mantra is something that intrigues me and what attracted me to the talk and the book in the first place. The cover has an illustration of mala beads used for keeping track of prayers.

Brought up in a Catholic community as a choral and solo singer of classical and spiritual music, mantra and chanting had always been there to some degree. But the last few years I’ve stopped singing and singing exercises which have an element of mantra to them. I could not say when I last attended church or participated in a spiritual chant or mantra.

I really enjoyed Katie’s talk. Just what I needed to hear on a Tuesday evening after a tough day. She gave wonderful advice for a morning gratitude meditation than can be done in bed before anything else.

Breathe in to the phrase ‘I’m grateful for …’ and breathe out to whatever comes to mind. Much like my weekend post, family came most easily to mind. It’s a loving meditation that filled me with a peaceful joy.

Do you connect with the quote above about the circus of the physical? Do you find peace in mantra and meditation?

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