The Dancing Flame
Have you ever watched a candle flame flickering? I love to watch it dancing away, flickering and jumping around…but I really look forward to the moments when it stops dancing and just burns – as still as a statue, but remaining alive and in constant energetic motion, burning hydrocarbons and consuming oxygen. Usually this happens out of the blue for just a brief moment, sometimes for even longer.
I felt like a candle today. I could feel during the moments when my mind or body or both were working hard to achieve a pose or find balance, that inside I felt like that flickering candle, seemingly unable to find stillness. But all of a sudden, in standing bow pose, stillness would happen, the flame would suspend itself, still alive, yet quietly peaceful. Then off it would go again, bouncing away, and I would find myself chuckling as I fell out of the pose.
I was playing with the candle image all through class, when my mind would get restless. I would focus my eyes on my own (since there was a mirror) and picture the flame within coming to rest, and felt quite a profound feeling of peace wash over me each time. When my legs would shake in a pose, I would picture the candle again, and just the imagery would sustain me through the toughest part of the pose and give me strength.
I highly recommend giving this imagery a try in yoga, or even in real life when something appears to get out of control. I am finding that by taking a moment to picture this imagery, I can gain control of my mind quickly and spontaneously, like a dancing candle comes to rest.