There's something funny about this body of ours and its that it keeps being there. Just when we take our health for granted something pops up to remind us that we are merely mortal, inhabiting this precious human form for what seems like seconds comparative to the great big scheme of the things that Really Matter. Which is a better reason than any for letting go of all that stuff we carry, that . stuff . that . really . doesn't . matter.
And even were we to let go for a fraction of a moment of a second we savour that bliss of softening. Often this goes with the prompt reminder of other things to worry about, if not our own health, that of those around us, of the Environment, of the greater Humanity. These are all worthy concerns, most definitely but in what way are we approaching them?
Yoga teaches us not to separate from the greater scheme as we are part of it. Not just a small tiny part but the whole shebang. This doesn't mean that we surf on a pedestal above the suffering of the world but we can take a little perspective and realize that perhaps the most counterproductive thing to actually doing something worthwhile with this precious human life is thinking that we can. Or in other words: thinking.
It may have something to do with the way we use our brains. Our education system, brilliant as it is, brings us into the left side of our brain. We are trained to be efficient and rational machines and this vast swell of tension builds up as we strain to learn and memorize factual data and how to navigate this complicated world we believe we live in. The bodies that come to me are knackered, they are worn down by life. They are assailed by stresses and strains, weak, tense, breath is restricted, thoughts are oppressive. Even the approach to a practice as overtly holistic as yoga is strained and competitive.
I am by no means promoting a self defeating attitude of complacency, instead a proactive defeating of the 'small' self that keeps us in this state of restricted rigidity. And how, you may ask, do I propose we do this? Practice of course. Practice really sinking into the soft core of your being. At any given time when you are practicing your asana notice where you are holding tension, where the self-aggrandizement or its opposite self-deprecating voice begins to bellow in your inner ear. It is keeping this awareness at all times that can help us move beyond into a state of true freedom from the stuff that doesn't matter.
When we engage with the body in true presence the chattering, exhausting left side of the brain gives way to silence. It yields to softness. Then in śavāsana we can let the true work happen. The body's innate healing energy, which is one and the same as the Universal Energy, can dissolve what is no longer needed so you can be a true peaceful warrior and choose the battles you take on with deep strength and selfless concern.
I hope to be there with you.
To learn more about moving from the soft core of your being, with freedom and grace, come to my workshop on the 24th of February at Yoga Akasha from 12-2. Book online through the shop.