After an unseasonably warm spell in March, April has begun with a wintery chill. Looking out my window at the falling snow reminds me of the naturally expanding and contracting rhythms of life that are also present in the dynamic cycles of our own bodies, thoughts and awareness.

Spanda can be defined as the underlying pulsation or vibration of the manifest universe and of all living things, including ourselves. You can sense this pulsation most easily in the beating of your heart and the movement of your thoughts.

Spanda is present in all our experiences. We can sense it in yoga postures when we maintain awareness of the interconnection between the energies of contraction and expansion. The vibrations of these energies are awakened in each posture.

Rather than engaging the yoga posture as a physical expression only, we can be in the posture while remaining aware of the spanda that is expressed through us. Thus, the asana is not only a physical pose, it is a reflection of our Self, our spirit.

When our awareness is focused on the clarity and stillness of our minds and on the pulsation of life energy moving through us, who we are in the the pose, our inner attitude, becomes far more interesting than the outer appearance of the posture.

Spanda becomes the message of yoga, awakening us to our connection with the universal pulsation that is in us, around us, and simply us. When we continue to pay attention to the vibration, without judging or making comparisons, our perceptions of our physical form dissolve and we experience presence or our authentic Self.