|Kriyā or ACTION |
Kriya can be translated from Sanskrit to mean action, completed action, deed or effort. Most commonly it's used to mean or refer to 'completed action'. We all know action. It's the thing that gets us from point A to point B. It's the thing that takes something from start to next level and eventually to finish. It is the doing part of things.
Why are we practicing ACTION?
You know, I have in the past committed class themes and qualities to appropriate holidays and things going on in the world that we are experiencing on a larger scale. Those of you who come to my class know this really well. Last November we spent the entire month practicing gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving. With that said, there happen to be other things going on in the world on a larger scale that I feel are pulling my inspiration and direction. And it's not to say that I don't think practicing gratitude is worthless now or that we have nothing to be grateful for because of those things going on. All the things going on are presenting themselves with a level of urgency that has inspired me to practice action. Sometimes, and especially during overwhelmingly difficult times, we can forget how able we are. Rather than inspiration we can feel helpless, hopeless or even paralyzed. Which is why this practice is so important. Because we need it all the time- during those times when we are paralyzed or just looking to fulfill a simple task. We remember that we are able, capable, full of effort. Which is of course something we should definitely be grateful for. In practice, it then becomes about the remembrance of taking that step to actually act on the things that we are looking to see, feel, achieve, make happen.
So I found myself stuck in the rabbit hole of the internet (which is a real slippery slope)- meandering through the news and footage of things happening here and there that are beyond depressing. Yes, yoga teachers get depressed about the realities of the world too. A lot. Again, that said, after experiencing the heartbreak from what I still cannot believe is really going on in our country at this time, I began to feel this strong sense of need. I felt a deep need to do something. It's not a new feeling. Not for me or anyone. It happens to all of us. It happens under the worst of circumstances, the best of circumstances, and the most basic.
Action is our ability to do something about whatever it is that inspires us to do something. Kriya is the practice of doing.
On the yoga mat, we are guided through movement that gets us completely into a space of action. We hear the pose, we understand the cues and we make them happen. It starts with the idea, then the understanding of how to make the idea real, then in order for there to be a product we effortfully engage in the making of it's reality. So when we engage, we are doing. When we turn our breath on in a conscious way, we are doing the breathing. When we consciously engage our muscles to support or create a movement or pose, we are doing the transition or posture.
Action is not mindless effort, it is determined or inspired.
Our practice is to honor (and yes, appreciate with full gratitude) our ability to act. Through our ability to act in our yoga practice, we just hope to build a higher sense of that ability. Ideally, that continually cultivated sense of ability, sense of action, can keep us moving and keep us doing the things that we love, the things that inspire us, the things we are passionate about, and the things that we need to do in order to be our fullest.