Transition is the natural state of all things, always. Finding fashions to relish the movement inherent in life is a trick. Are we to accept that nothing is ever done? What’s up with the way no “problem” will ever be all the way resolved? For thousands of years, practitioners of yoga have itched at this issue. The complete absorption into Samadhi is a goal and it requires a letting go the known world. For total liberation to work, one would have to be free from bondage which includes the boundaries of bodies, relationships to our senses, emotions, and desires, etc… it’s in the definition. Granted, this is a very classical perspective on the yoga, but it speaks to the reason a yoga class is different from “working out”. It’s meant to be different; it’s a deep inquiry practice with some caturangas on the side.
Lately I’ve been nerding on the idea that the yoga is about fostering trust. Through gentle, exploratory movement, trust in the body and trust in the process is built. It’s not everywhere that we are encouraged to be in trusting relationship with our bodies, or with any other body, for that matter. We live in a time of exceptional amounts of information, but a serious dearth of connection to the body of earth, and what runs beneath our skin.
Perhaps you have also been misled into some bizarre narratives that these bodies are dangerous, unreliable, or something to be fixed and changed. This is often the message society spits, it’s definitely the message between the lines of marketing and celebrity, and it’s pretty much that classical idea of the yoga again. Supercede the needs and desires of the body and become free. Through years of yoga practice, I have learned to listen to the signs my body has to share. Learning her language has been awkward and so empowering. I am definitely still in the process. If problems aren’t for solving, then they must be for learning, yes? So embodiment might not be exactly a problem (maybe that was a poor transanlation, caught in the fray of cultural misappropriation?), and more of a wild ride, a high-stakes state to be paid attention and studied. Maybe the process IS the whole thing?
Just two weeks ago I signed up to attend fourteen classes in seventeen days at Shree Yoga in honor of the moon, the end of the year, and myself. Day one I went to two classes, and didn’t hardly make it back for another in the crush of the end of year rush. My body simply wasn’t all in, and I refused to ignore the signs. Funny how it took years to feel like a great success for my yoga practice is to not go to a yoga class. I hope you know at this point that it is our dream as yoga teachers to work with students who never come back to class! It’s a bit of an overstatement, but any legit teacher will agree that they wish to help people find ways to listen to, to honor, and to be in relationship with their bodies and their souls. We learn the skills in class together, but the big work happens on our own time.
Overdoing and overachieving are both weird states of behavior I have spent my fair share digging trenches in. Sorry, dear precious adrenals. When I’ve dark circles under my eyes and feel tired at two in the afternoon, do I really need to add another thing to the list? I opted for a resounding no this month and stayed quiet whenever I could find the time. I stretched in front of the fire, meditated with my little insight timer app ringing bells and keeping time for me, and didn’t stress about penciling anything else on to my dance card.
Trust takes time and as it does in any relationship, comes with mistakes, missteps, and lots of forgiveness. My excitement about this fostering trust thing has been in coming to realize that in decades of “practice” trusting my body, I am giving my body a chance to trust me: the ego that drives so much movement; the heart that feels deeply with the whole world; the mind that plans, and witnesses as plans are broken and transformed, despite my best intentions to stand by “my word”. All of these aspects of self, including the tangible stuff of skin and bone and blood are pieces of me, but no one is the whole.
It may sound out there to talk about a body trusting a mind, but it has been inspiring and tickling me oodles to imagine the conversation between the pieces of a whole being as they learn to coexist. Nervous system says to foot, “I hear you.” Future self cries out to present self, “Rest little one, there is much work to be done and all is coming.” Restoration of peace is the bindu seed center of a many faceted and multi-generational story of healing that is born in apology, and the trust it bears. Today I woke up, rearranged my schedule, and went to a yoga class at Shree (where the space is beautiful, and the teachers are amazing, and the community is so f*%&!ng alive and incredible it makes me cry happy tears on the regular), and it was awesome.
Delighted to share with you all,