Beasts of the Past

The great Sufi master, Hafiz, wrote:

“The warriors tame
The beasts in their past
So that the night’s hoofs
Can no longer break the jeweled vision
In the heart.”

Not only do I wish I’d written this, but my deeper wish is to be as Hafiz’ warrior…released of the beasts of my past; un-tethered to regret, shame, sorrow, or whatever repeated rhythm the dark hoofs beat.

It is easier to hear what keeps someone else from their ‘jeweled vision,’ from fully engaging a present moment, than it is to see one’s own rutted, well trod loop of ancient story: There is the wounding, “You always hated me, this just proves it!” The injustice, “It’s so unfair. He always got what I wanted. Now he’s getting it all.” The mantras of inadequacy, “I can’t believe I did that. I’m so stupid.” And always martyrdom. “No you go, I’ll stay home and wash the floors.”

What unbelievable silliness keeps us from present joy. What relentless unconscious garbage prevents us from fully embracing a warrior-self. We all do it. Some of us just do it less than others. Those are…

“The intelligent and the brave
Open every closet in the future and evict
All the mind’s ghosts who have the bad habit
Of barfing everywhere.”

Indeed it is the ‘intelligent and the brave’ who are willing to stop the madness of the subconscious patterning of past muck-music. It is not necessarily the intelligence of the mind so much as the heart that is required to shape the muscle of great kindness. It is a brave soul who turns and faces the ‘mind’s ghosts’ of bad habits, stops beating themselves up, then moves on, stronger, and more resilient to create ‘jeweled visions’ from their broken heart, broken bones, broken dreams.


Asana/Pose: One of the Warriors, of course: Virabhadrasana I, II, and/or III. Call courage and a kind heart to yourself as you move into Vira I. Bend R knee, extend L leg back, strongly planting L foot into the earth. Lift arms overhead, stretch up and back. Feel the power to overcome a habit holding you stuck in an old way of being. If you’re willing to look at two destructive patterns, move into Vira II, by opening arms to side, and pulling L hip back. If that hasn’t slain you, then slay your third dragon in Vira III by lifting up and over R leg, flatten chest and hips until they parallel the floor, extending L leg back, knee faces floor, hips even with one another….Great muscle for great dreams.

Health Notes: All the Vira’s strengthen legs and back, and Vira III increases balance. These are power poses to calm the mind, focus the body, and grow capacity by strengthening thigh muscles.

Astrology Notes: July is primarily a Cancer month. Ruled by the Moon, this water sign/energy, is washed with family, the past, ancestors, the tribe or country, mom and nurturing. It also struggles with guilt, worry, and stresses of becoming stuck in past events.

Ayurvedic Notes: By July, most places in the northern hemisphere are dealing with dry, hot Pitta energies. But when and where it remains wet and cool, Kapha Dosha needs more attention to stay balanced. Among other things, Kapha governs the fluid balance in the body, corresponding to the Moon. You have Kapha imbalances if you: Experience sinus & congestion issues. Sleep long hours yet wake un-refreshed. If skin and hair tend to oilyness. If you deal with water-retention. If the morning finds you heavy and stiff. You struggle with extra pounds. To counterbalance follow a logical, practical diet of: fresh fruits & veg. A strong physical Yoga Practice. Minimize cold, heavy, oily foods, instead eat light, dry, astringent tastes. Go to bed early.

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