Cat From The Mat

A little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll

The universe is made up of energetic pulsation.  This term in Sanskrit is called "spanda."  Light, sound, and your breath are all are manifestations of this movement.  The vibration of your body at every level, physical and non-physical, has a profound influence on your ability to attract positive experiences. The higher your vibration, the more of a magnet you become as a result of the thoughts you hold in your mind. How you think of yourself, talk to yourself,  and feel about yourself will have an impact on the vibration you are creating and thus attracting more of.  Your connection to self determines your connection to the world.  If you are angry with yourself, then you see the annoyances around you.  If you practice compassion with yourself, then you might become more forgiving of others.  Consider that what you are putting out to the world is perhaps what you are attracting.

St. Valentine's Day is known for the celebration of connection- relationship to self and amorous relations with another.  Candy hearts, chocolate, valentine cards, and flowers are gifts presented on this day to express love.  In Greek, there are many names to describe types of love.  The term "Agape" means unconditional love. It refers to a general affection or deeper sense of "true love."  Whereas, "Eros" is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. February 14th commemorates both the cooling comprehensive  "agape" and the heated lustful "eros."

The surrounding physical world can be defined by two vibrancies: the fiery "masculine" and the grounding "feminine" (not to be confused with male and female genders.)   A masculine encoded energy is intense and tenacious.  It has a direct and narrowing focus, like the sunlight.   In contrast, moonlight is receptive and reflective of the sun's rays.  This is the affirming feminine encoded energy.   The world moves with both of these expanding (feminine) and contracting (masculine) codes, as do we.   If your dog is about to get hit by a car, you jump into an explosive protective moment of action.  And yet, when at home cuddling with your pet, it's more appropriate to be calming, nurturing, and soft.  Each of us is a melange of both.  So which energetic code is your dominant one?  And which one can you develop more?

This relationship to both your masculine and feminine self is the practice of yoga on the mat.  Align with your energetic preference while cultivating its opposite, and you will foster inner balance. And when you are steady inside, you are more skillful in relationship to others.  But this equilibrium doesn't mean 50/50, even-steven.  Stability might be 51/49, 70/30, or even 99/1.  When dining with your loved one, you don't divide the check down the middle to the penny.  Sometimes you pay, sometimes you are treated.  One night you do the washing up.  Another night, the dishes are done for you.  Becoming skillful in partnership is an exchange of give and take.  Together you find equipoise.  However, it's easier to first start the practice within.  

In the words of 70's singing siblings duo Donny and Marie Osmond, be a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll.  Honor your co-mingled masculine and feminine energies and offer your country rockstar self to the world.   You just might attract the unconditional, passionate love on the stage of your own heart and star in your own TV show called "Ecstatic Love."    

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cat McCarthy
February 2012

Happy Great-ful New Year!

One of the philosophical underpinnings of Anusara Yoga is intrinsic goodness. You come into this world with all that you need, affirming life and your highest potential.  Your ancestors have survived and reproduced to bring you to where you are today.  You will persevere and most likely not be eaten by a lion.   Life is good.   The invitation of yoga however is to skillfully turn what is good enough into great, like transforming food into cuisine.  This takes constant practice, conscious awareness, and skill in action.

As you jump into a new calendar year, set an intention of how 2012 might unfold while holding space for the unknown.  You might sculpt your life to be successful.  The word "success" means "favorable outcome," "triumph," "victory," or even "prosperity."  In a world where results matter, failure is not usually the desirable option.  And yet, it can be the biggest catalyst of all.  Reflecting back on 2011, I myself take pause and appreciate all that has transpired to bring me to the present.  I have had some successes in certain areas and my fair share of failure in others.  But most of all, this past year has been great and full of surprises.

Greatness is realizing your fullest capacity.  A person can be successful and not be great, just as one can be extraordinary and feel like a failure.  Therefore, being great is infinitely beyond the limited paradigm of success.  Eminence is having prowess, mastery, and finesse, all of which are not determined by the outcome you achieve; rather by the way in which you transact with the world to serve your artistry and hone your magnificent potential.

I encourage you to design a successful year in order to transmogrify into more of your amazing self. Focus less on results for the sake of results and more on the tangible steps you can take to feed your biggest dreams. Do you want to be immediately successful and/or outfit yourself for greatness?  Yoga embraces both short and long-term goals concurrently.  Be triumphant while serving the highest. If you wish to deepen your asana practice or to embark upon a virtuous voyage into the world of yoga, consider taking a small yet splendid step to gain more tools for the continual journey of self-mastery.  There may be moments of success and failure to fuel the promise of a great adventure!


Cat from the Mat

Jan 2012