A Navajo Prayer
With Beauty beside me I walk.
With Beauty behind me I walk.
With Beauty before me I walk.
With Beauty inside me I walk.
It is finished in Beauty.
— Ana Forrest’s version of a Navajo prayer
These words came to my mind whilst reading Denise Leicester‘s article ‘Walking in Beauty’ in the March issue of OM Yoga magazine. Those of you who pop by my blog will know that I often end by saying May We all Walk in Beauty and I complete every yoga class with these words.
Denise notes how vital it is that we notice the beauty that is all about us. As we imbibe that which is beautiful we are effected on all levels, we feel uplifted and more in harmony with the life and energy that is all around. She mentions the need to de-clutter and make various changes as the energy of Spring begins to flow. This is a good time to do some ‘cleaning and clearing’ on all levels. Make some space for all the wonderful possibilities that this season of renewal brings.
The Navajo prayer at the beginning of this post greeted all students when they opened their manuals at the start of the month-long Foundation Teacher Training in Forrest Yoga. It is a theme that runs through the days and weeks and continues long after the completion of that time spent with Ana and her assistants. How to find the beauty in what I do, how to evolve my yoga practice so that it remains a time of beauty and not an arduous task to be somehow got through.
The truth of the matter is that life is challenging and we all have deadlines, tasks and demands placed up on us. When things seem to get too tough it is so easy to become a victim to circumstances and feel that a good whinge would be our best plan. I did a fair amount of whining and muttering during my training! Ana Forrest does not go along with that notion at all! In very strong words she demands more of us and knows exactly how to approach each person she meets. She wrote the words above after a quiet moment. I chose to have them written in red and every now and again I open her book and absorb the words she felt for me.
I rather think that regardless of the season Ana would ask us to look within and without to seek out Beauty. Her training is so much more than yoga postures and it has taken me many months to reach this place where I feel more comfortable about being me and about teaching my wonderful students in the Forrest way. I do know that even during the dark months of winter I have been able to ‘see’ in a different way. Layers of habitual holding/pain are constantly revealing themselves to me and then…what to do with it? Breathe, Feel and Release is a good idea. The more we breathe the more we can feel and experience our whole body. It is hard, it is most certainly painful and yet a massive lion roar can open new pathways within us. Give it a go. Take yourself into a deep lunge and stay there and breathe and stay there a little longer and then roar. Really check in with how that feels as you lie in savasana…
So to read Denise Leicester‘s words took me on a journey back in time and a journey forwards. The immense amount I have learnt working with Ana and her teachers carry me forward into Spring and a new confidence in my ability to share the Beauty of Yoga with others. Aho…
I have chosen only one of the lovely articles in my Om Yoga magazine, there is so much more and if you are interested in receiving a regular feast of yoga information, delight and love then click on the side panel of this post.
My love to all and May We All Walk in Beauty through our wonderful world. Take a moment to stop, breathe and see what is there to wonder at and celebrate.