Over time on the yogic path, we get more connected. That is what yoga is all about. Practices are meant to connect you more deeply to yourself, to the people around you and to the earth. Explorations in yoga and Ayurveda lead us deeply within and deeply without, and as we explore our inner and outer landscape, we get in contact with the Five Great Elements that make ourselves and all life and matter on this planet. These are known in Yoga and Ayurveda as the pancha mahabhutas and they represent the foundational aspects of nature and matter. They are: space, air, fire, water and earth. These elements are acknowledged and revered in traditional cultures around the world. Yogis use practices to draw on the energies of these elements to bring more balance and harmony into our lives and into the world.
In this post, I share with you a simple meditation practice is designed to guide you into an experience these 5 elements both within you and in the world around you. This is a sample of the many meditations that I offer in my Vibrant Soulful Yoga Tribe membership.
To listen, simply click below.
Family Circus Morning Meditation
This morning’s meditation session read like a Family Circus cartoon. I woke up later than usual, having fallen back asleep after the 5:30 a.m. alarm went. Around 6:45 a.m., I woke up again and sat up in bed to begin my morning meditation session. Take 1. Just as I was settling into my seat, Sage (age 6) woke up next to me, having made his way into our bed in the night. So, I stopped and lay down next to him to give him his morning snuggles as I always do, surrendering and delighting in his warmth and sweetness and at the same time thinking about getting back to my meditation practice. After 10 minutes or so, Sage got up to go play in the other room. I sat down to meditate once again. Take 2. Just as I was settled in and beginning to do some pranayama, I heard River (age 9) wake up and call for me. I invited him to come in for a snuggle as well. We cuddled and quietly chatted about the day. After about 10 minutes, I sent him to go play, and I sat down determined to get my meditation practice in. Take 3. Finally, I was sitting and had begun to silently chant my mantra when I heard Sage in the bathroom and he really needed toilet paper. Apparently, Steve, my husband, could not hear Sage as he was downstairs working. So, of course, I got up and got him toilet paper and came back and resolutely sat down again. Since the kids had a mid morning dentist appointment scheduled, we didn’t have to get to school early and I figured I really did have time to sit. Take 4. Inwardly, I began to feel a bit contracted and grumpy as I fantasized about yogis without families with blissful morning practices free of distractions. Imagine what that would be like! No kids – the morning would be mind alone! Nonetheless, I was determined to get in my practice. I began to silently repeat my mantra anew. And, after a few more minutes, the mantra began to do its magic and I felt myself being drawn inward.
Simultaneous to this, I heard Sage playing with Legos. I heard the sounds of Lego sorting and Lego building alongside the sound effects of Star Wars Lego blasters made by Sage as he animated his creations. I heard Steve come up the stairs, quietly enter the bedroom, then enter the bathroom, run the water and step into the shower. Yet amidst all of the familiar family noises, I was magically and effortlessly drawn deeper and deeper into the sweet vast expanse of my inner landscape and into the empty yet full space of the Heart that I have come to know as the turiya state. I experienced a profoundly deep state of meditation, yet I was in the midst of and completely conscious of and connected to my very own Family Circus.
All of a sudden, I felt tears welling in my eyes and a feeling of opening and love well up in my heart as I experienced a kind of recognition that all is perfect and all is possible. That is, that my Family Circus, the path of motherhood, the path of being a partner, the path of completely honoring and being present for my family, is never separate from my path of yogic sadhana and indeed the two are as intimately intertwined as Siva and Sakti. My life is all about having both, animating both and experiencing the bliss of both of these Grace-filled dimensions. When I completed my meditation, I got up and joyfully kissed my husband and went down to make breakfast.
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.