There is a very famous song by the Pixies where the singer asks earnestly "where is my mind?" I love that song, he may not be sure where his mind is but by the moving effect of his lyrics he sure knows where his core is.
I had the privilege of being invited to a day of mini lectures by top scientists, innovators and academicists at the Royal Institution in London where we the audience proceeded to have our minds blown by the lecturers. We were let in on the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, the current breakthroughs in organ cloning, how solar energy is gradually becoming a real alternative, self-driving cars, the cities of the future, extracting hydrogen from aluminium and water, scientific solutions to altzheimers and a vaaaaast array of utterly enthralling ever evolving and increasingly more sophisticated pieces of knowledge.
It got me thinking, seeing as the crowd seemed to be overall much better informed than I and generally more on it, what exactly might the role of yoga be in this increasingly technological and ultra connected world we live in. There were a couple of points I took away from the lectures that I found particularly relevant, and chances are these are not news to you the reader but I felt like a pre schooler learning that red and yellow make orange
1. Neurones naturally want to connect. If you take the brain cells of two mice and put them in a dish they will look at a way of connecting, of communicating. This to me is fascinating. Essentially when we practice yoga we too are looking at ways of forming connections in ourselves, and as a community with other teachers, practitioners etc. In fact it is the very meaning of the word yoga: connection. I myself have felt in the very core of my being this very strong urge to communicate what I have learnt through my own practice.
2. The organisms that live in our gut are highly sophisticated and unique and possess their own neurones, our guts are in fact intelligent. This was not exactly news to me but it did get me thinking about the importance of sensitivity which is something we as yogis set about to cultivate constantly. When we realise just how intelligent our living, breathing, digesting body is we may pay it more heed and honour it as our greatest teacher
3. Virtual reality is going to play a big role in the future of humans. Up until now this idea makes me want to ask the planet to stop rotating so perhaps I may be allowed to step off, we are barely awake to real reality and seem to be less and less so with increasing digitisation and yet when put into context some of the developments in virtual reality I found utterly fascinating. For example being able to simulate a frozen landscape for a victim of burn injuries undergoing surgery is umpteen times more effective than morphine as a method of pain relief. We have heard of meditators in the freezing Himalayas being able to increase their body temperature through meditation and this sort of research beautifully ties together this intrinsic mind-body relationship.
There were many more fascinating speakers speaking on a range of incredible topics, I was particularly enthused by one man who defined luck as a skill, the skill of being curious. The skill of being open to not just the unknown but that we can't even conceive of not knowing.
It is in this spirit, of open curiosity and deep delving that I invite you to my next workshop on core yoga. Come along and we can have some fun exploring, even if we do know where our mind is!
Sunday, December the 4th, 6-8p.m at Yard Yoga, Forest Row, click here to book