And here’s another quick blog from the back of the lovely Luna’s magic van on the way back from Harbin Hot Springs… feeling relaxed and inspired! (please don’t mind my grammatical errors, made up words etc… I am writing from the back of a van!)
For me, yoga is not about a set of postures one can achieve. Rather, about my relationship to life itself, how I live and how I respond to this experience moment to moment. There is nothing that this looks like in particular, nothing solid to hold on to. There is no way this ‘should’ look either. It is completely unique to each individual that lives alive here on this planet.
Every journey holds such great medicine. All I can do is listen deeply and trust the journey I am on, at the same time as meeting each person with as much presence and authenticity as I able to in each given moment. Sometimes I am able to meet the moment with expansiveness and, at other times, due to fear and old patterns, I contract.
For me, it’s not about always being in that expansive space, rather being present through every experience, even when I contract. If I can not love through these moments too, then my Love is not inclusive, it is exclusive to an ideal state I am projecting onto myself and others.
I attended a ‘yoga psyche’ intensive last weekend in San Francisco with Mariana Caplan. She talked about saying ‘yes to the no.’ Another student at the intensive offered an example: when we hold our hand in a fist, if we try to pry it open, it tightens. If we simply hold our other hand around it softly, the grip loosens without effort. This is saying ‘yes to the no,’ this is loving through our contractive moments. And, subsequently, this approach tends to lead to a greater, more inclusive expansiveness than force does.
Life is delicate in this way. It is not helpful to Internally beat ourselves up for our moments of contraction. Knowing ourselves and lovingly tracking our habitual reactions, we can come to appreciate when we are gripping on, forcing or rigidifying a situation to maintain a platitude of control that keeps is safely in those patterns or fluidly responding to the moment with authenticity and loving attention. This often requires a little slowing down and giving space to be fully present, at least until that response becomes natural, a moment when a deep breath or two can be helpful.
So when engaging in the practices that have come to be known of as yoga, it is beneficial to cultivate such a sweet intimacy with ourselves that we can soften into and come to know our edges without forceful agenda.
Remember that more long lasting transformation in the nervous system tends to come about as a result of more subtle and gradual practice than from short bursts of intensity.
And, perhaps more importantly, when we engage with the yoga that is everything, whether we are practicing postures, dancing, singing, hiking, cycling, socialising, sitting silently, swimming or any action that involves living and breathing, the opportunity is there, right within and around us, to be in yoga, here and now in deep intimate presence with the universe and all it’s wonder.
This is a Star formation picture from NASA 🙂