Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:16, KJV
The following is an excerpt from my free ebook “Why Less is More – The Science of Getting More Energy Out of Your Life”
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Namaste: From my light to yours, the divine essence in me honors and acknowledges the same in you.
The first time I encountered the word “Namaste” was when I started doing yoga nearly 15 years ago. Even after completing several yoga classes, I still did not know what the word “Namaste” meant, but I presumed it was some sort of salutation. The teacher never took the time to tell the class what it meant. and I never asked her either. My favorite class back then consisted of about an hour’s worth of Ashtanga yoga, and the class was called power yoga. I took the class because I had read that yoga was good for strengthening the body while at the same time increasing flexibility. Prior to taking yoga, I had torn my rotator cuff from trying to bench press too much, so I was ready for some type of flexibility training as I had become quite rigid, both in my thinking and in my body. When the yoga class would end, the teacher would bow and say, “Namaste,” to the class, and then we all then would reply in kind, including the bow and hands clasped in prayer. It really did not matter to me what we were saying then since I had no understanding or concept of the word itself. Rather, I just knew the feeling of peace and gratitude that followed me after taking the class, and I wanted to reciprocate back to my teacher for the gift she gave me in that class, so I replied. For you see, just prior to hearing “Namaste” from the yoga teacher as class ended, I had usually been lying on my back on the floor, totally relaxed, breathing deeply after being told to “let it all go.” Lying quietly on the floor in a darkened room with faint incense burning, accompanied by relaxing music, further deepened my feeling of bliss.
You yogis out there know this final yoga pose I am describing as savasana, corpse pose, or total relaxation pose. Corpse pose is an apt name for this pose, for when I would peer around the room during class when we were all in savasana, that is what it looked like—a bunch of dead bodies lying on the ground. While in the total relaxation pose, I often had the sensation of leaving my lifeless body, and it was very liberating. As a former jogger, I had experienced a runner’s high and understood the body’s response to prolonged exercise and releasing dopamine. But this post yoga class feeling was something else altogether. As I would lie like a corpse, still and quiet, my consciousness and my awareness seemed to resonate with a higher power, and my earthly troubles that may have been weighing me down before class seemed to dissipate after the class as I lie “dying,” or totally relaxing. While the runner’s high came on in the midst of strenuous exercise, the altered state brought on by savasana came about by doing nothing. Without physical effort, peace and contentment replaced a previous mental state of worry, striving, and planning. I began to love yoga, not as a practice per se but rather for the means to the end, and that ended with the word “Namaste.”
Yoga is derived from Sanskrit, and its root means to “yoke” or join and has been described as ancient art “based on a harmonizing system[i] of development for the body, mind, and spirit.” It has been suggested that practicing yoga can align the physical and mental, producing a state of spiritual enlightenment.[ii] Prior to starting yoga, I was a stressed-out, type-A guy. I was then and still am somewhat driven, ambitious, and an often competitive person. Like many, though, I have experienced hardships and evolved in a way that has ultimately helped me to let go. Today I am much more at peace than before, thanks to yoga and many other tools that I want to share with you. Contorting around on a yoga mat for 45 minutes and holding uncomfortable poses while trying to focus on my breath can be very challenging at times, just like life itself. But the relief from lying still and breathing was immense, physically and mentally as well. After doing yoga, a curious thing would then happen to me: after being still and resting in corpse pose, I would find that I had much more energy following the class. I would sleep better at night and wake up the following day after my class with even more energy.
How is it possible to have more energy by doing less?
As we will see, science has an answer for us. In particular, there are a couple of laws that we can apply to our own lives in order to get more energy out of our lives; in particular, the Law of Conservation of Energy and perhaps the most basic law in electricity, Ohm’s Law. After all, everything, including us, is made up of energy. So the fundamental laws that govern how we approach energy efficiency and conservation along with the basics of how a light bulb works can help illuminate (pun intended) a better way for us. As we will see, by lowering our resistance, we can increase our personal power by not wasting energy and ultimately do more of the work we were called to do.
[i]. “Definition of Yoga.” Http://yoga.org.nz/. N.p., 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2015. <http://yoga.org.nz/what-is-yoga/yoga_definition.htm>.
[ii]. “yoga.” The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 19 Mar. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/yoga>.