I recently got to spend a few days visiting a friend who had rented a condo for a month in Frisco, Colorado. Even though I live in Boulder, Colorado, I often forget the majesty of these Rocky Mountains. As I walked along the lake, biked along the rushing, effulgent waters of creek beds and hiked amidst forests of quaking aspens and pine trees, I was literally transported into a calm and flow that I had not felt in Ages and was reminded about why I moved here.
In Yoga, we often end our sessions with the Sanskrit chant, “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti”. Shanti in English means Peace. For all too many reasons, I had become consumed with the worries and bustle of my daily life and lost sight of this essential element. Like the “mores” I spoke about in my last article which keep us in a constant state of grasping and striving without satisfaction, I had let the struggles of my life overshadow my knowledge of Shanti.
We in America, tend to spend so much money on vacations and if we’re lucky, create a few days or weeks of respite, but then we go back to our daily “grinds” and seem to lose touch with that vacation state of mind. Yoga teaches us to integrate Shanti into our daily consciousness. Peace, flow, ease and contentment, all of the feelings I experienced in Frisco are what the Yogis embody. For me, nature and beauty remind me of the goal of Yoga and to nurture that state as I become more adept at integrating that peaceful consciousness into my daily life amidst the challenges that arise as well as the vacation moments.
As summer comes to an end and we move into fall, with the changing of the leaves and the cooling temperatures, let us integrate Shanti and a “vacation mind” into our work and daily lives. Envision a moment that has brought you peace this summer and begin each day with that memory and then commit to integrate Shanti into every day. With practice and commitment, your life may begin to look and feel more like the vacation you’ve always dreamed about.