The Butterfly Effect, embodiment and beditation – a guest post

Today I am delighted to hand over to Gertrud Keazor, founder of the magical Yobaba Lounge and one of the wisest, most wonderful people I know.  She describes a simple yet powerful addition to your yoga practice – or, indeed, just practice it at any time.

Gertrud says:  “When coming out of shivasana, we can feel in our bodies one of the most empowering recognitions described by Eastern wisdom sciences: reality arises from the impulse of consciousness within. Western science’s Chaos Theory calls it the Butterfly Effect. Try it:

Remain still in shivasana with palms upturned.  Before moving, focus on the weight of the air on your palms.  Perhaps you can feel your fingers being thicker and bigger. Not moving, stillness has become palpable.  Remember for a moment that air is strong enough to carry a plane full of people…

Then notice from where the impulse to move your fingers arises – is it the air moving your fingers or is it something from within you? As you slowly start to move your fingers, you are moving the air around them, you are creating tiny ripples.

With each movement we make, with each breath we take, we create ripples in the physical space around us.  The ripples reach others, and we are affected by others’ ripples, to which in return we respond.

Chaos Theory explains that “A very small change may make the system behave completely differently. Very small changes in the starting position of a [chaotic] system make a big difference after a while.”

It means that each vulnerable flutter of a wing can add up to a tornado of change.

It also means that with each breath we take, each movement we make, and indeed, each thought we have, we affect, indeed, create, our reality.

We are beings of immense power.

It therefore pays to slow down, to bring awareness to our own patterns of behaviour and responses and identify those that no longer serve us and that may be harmful.  Eventually, we develop the understanding and strength to let go of such harmful patterns, one at a time.

This is how we change our world.

When we consciously embark on a wellness practice, we can start with small steps. Here at the Lounge, we love something that we call “beditation”: doing a practice in bed. Even just 10 minutes a day, of conscious deep diaphragmatic breathing and of focusing on the sensations that this creates (physical as well as metaphysical), will bring immense benefit.  Incorporate a couple of hip opening postures (for example happy baby pose) – breathing through these along our edges is not only completely enjoyable, but also starts to recondition our parasympathetic nervous system (see Polyvagal Theory).

This is how easy it is to begin a practice of awareness:  the sensations of the breath gently expanding our body, the deliciousness of our hips being gently stretched open or our lower back gently twisting in two knee twist or the relief on our angles with legs up on a wall.

By practising awareness using our body, we can find it easy to expand this into practising awareness of our mental and emotional patterns as well. As we become more aware, we can begin to choose our responses more effectively. We are on “autopilot” less often. We begin to feel more connected and “ourselves” and our life begins to feel more in tune with our true nature.

This is embodiment. And this is why our strapline is: As we embody from within, so the outside world adjust.

Thank you for reading.”