Para-Ascending – A new Yoga Therapy perspective
Life is all about perspective – whether we feel up or down, fearful or exhilarated, blessed or needy. This became abundantly clear as I hurled myself off a cliff recently, trusting that I would be held by the air currents sweeping into the wing of the Paraglider strapped to the instructor behind me. No ordinary moment.
Earlier forms of this activity were referred to as “Paraascending” and this moment of flinging myself into space reminded me a lot of what we do in Yoga Meditation as we leave behind the limited perspective of the human experience and throw our whole attention toward the expansion of consciousness into the vast dimensions of Spirit.
But let me back up. When I was invited to try paragliding, my first reaction was fear and resistance. Practicing the self-reflection that Yoga teaches us (Swadhaya) I realized that it is common for humans to hold this limited perspective when we face the unknown. Usually more apt to choose the familiar, we ponder new possibilities for a while, weighing the pros and cons. Even if we decide to take a leap of faith, we inevitably second guess ourselves and get afraid. Hopefully though, we receive reassurance, pack up, hike up, get ready and GO! Fortunate for me, my pilot, Joey from Aloha Paragliding didn’t give me a lot of time to reconsider once we were at the top of the mountain. He set up, strapped on and said “When I say run – you RUN!”
I took a few deep yoga breaths, surrendered to powers far greater than myself, and RAN – right off the edge of a cliff! Suddenly suspended in mid-air 1,000 feet above the sea, I spent a few moments in futile fear (what could I have done at that point anyway?) and pointless panic. Then I relaxed and found my perspective. Floating in the exquisite atmosphere of the Great Light, I saw the choice – be afraid, tense and limit the experience – or relax, trust and fly!
In that moment the extraordinary became the ordinary. Every moment of every day is like this. The choice is always ours – in every encounter, decision, relationship, or direction in which we move in life. Expand or contract, appreciate or take for granted, fear or fly. Having ascended to the beautiful perspective from above, I say trust the currents. Take the leap. And when Life tells you to run…RUN!