We have been conditioned into thinking that life moves in a linear fashion, the way we live and work, the decisions we make, how we plan for the future, how we manage our thoughts and feelings.
We have separated ourselves from our true nature, from the natural cycle of life.
The truth is that we are cyclical beings, we are part of nature and everything that influences our human existence moves in cycles. To fully experience the best life has to offer it makes sense that we honour these cycles within and around us.
Perhaps you are not even aware of the power that the natural cycles have on us or the potential energy they hold.
Do you recognise the power in the breath you just took in and released out? Were you even conscious of your breath? For most of our lives we are not even aware of our breath because we take it for granted. But this cycle of breath is life, without it we wouldn't even be here.
Each breath is the gift of life, the very present reminder that life moves in cycles. To live well, we balance the action of in and out, give and take, high and low, action and rest, hope and despair, belief and doubt. When we are comfortable with the dark/low in these cycles, knowing that the ebb is only half of the picture, we are no longer afraid of life, we can truly begin to live.
The linear mode in which we have been conditioned means we are afraid of failure, scared of loss, ashamed of fear, separated from others by being judged or judging them.
This linear way of living only values the lighter side, the so-called 'successful' aspect, but we need both light and dark to be whole.
The cycles of the Sun and the Moon govern our existence, provide what is needed for life to exist and they both move in cycles, honouring the light and the dark.
We are far more familiar with the cycle and power of the sun and yet we challenge it and try to resist it's natural cycle by the use of artificial lighting, staying up late into the light and sleeping late into the morning when we get the chance.
We battle through the changing seasons determined to just 'keep on keeping on' in our linear fashion, oblivious to our primal need to observe and honour these natural cycles around us and within us. We are not separate from the world around us, we are just a small part of the greater whole.
We cannot remain the same day in day out year in year out, we are part of the cycle too, constantly changing and evolving.
We can't only breathe in and expect to maintain our well being, at some point we have to breathe out to preserve life. The flowers do not keep producing blooms all year round. Eventually the energy that supports their growth would be depleted and they would die. We too need to honour the natural cycles within us so that our reserves of health, well being and energy are not prematurely depleted, so we don't lose our vitality.
This linear way of living dulls our experience of life. Living by honouring the natural cycles that influence us and exist within us brings colour and richness back into our lives, we feel charged with enthusiasm and compassion in equal measure rather than feeling frustrated, lacking or overwhelmed.
We all are seeking something and for the most part we have become accustomed to seeking this fix from external sources, food, shopping, social media, people, money, power....the list is endless. When we start observing and honouring our natural cycles we start paying attention inwardly, and when we do there is a spark, a glimmer of recognition, as we start to see that what we were seeking outwardly was within us all along.
There are lots of ways in which we can observe our own cycles and how they link with the cycles around us.
Our physical yoga practice (asana):
Each time we come to our mat we are different. We bring a different energy depending on how we are physically, mentally and emotionally which will depend on how we have slept, how we have moved and how we have interacted with the people and the world prior to stepping on the mat. When our practice flows and feels good watch out for the ego getting attached to achievement, rather practice:
1:12 abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah
Practice and detachment are the means to still the movement of consciousness.
So that when our practice feels sluggish and doesn’t flow, we don’t experience frustration, we accept it with compassion as the ebb of our cycle and learn from it.
Pay attention to how the inhale feels, stay in the pause, see how it feels and how the exhale arises, how does the exhale feel different to the inhale, stay in the pause watching and waiting for the inhale to naturally arise. You can experiment by holding the breath longer than feels natural and experience how we need both and how it feels ‘better’ to flow with the natural cycle.
Night and day, Circadian rhythms:
"Circadian rhythms, our 24-hour biological cycles, govern more than our waking and sleeping. Our body's rhythms are governed by a "master clock" located in a tiny region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It works much like a conductor, striking up one section of the body's orchestra as another quiets down, taking its main cue from light signals in order to stay in sync with the 24-hour day." WebMD
Patterns of brain-waves, hormone production, cell regrowth, and other activities are linked to this cycle.
So by understanding the concept of Circadian rhythms it makes sense to try and sync ourselves with the natural cycle of night and day - the hours of light and dark.
The Moon's gravitational pull creates what is understood as the Tidal Force. Whilst currently there is no concrete evidence of the Moon affecting us directly in terms of behaviour and emotions, we see how the moon affects large bodies of water and we know that the human body is made up of approximately 75% water, so naturally there is the possibility that the moon may affect us also. It can be interesting to observe our emotional and energetic ups and downs over the period of a month and see how those cycles link to the cycle of the Moon.
Keep it simple and watch the natural world around you.
It’s always changing and it's anything but straightforward.
The whole world is my heart,
Mother Nature's heartbeat is my own,
We are whole,