To be in the moment but not of the moment. To accept my Self fully. To embrace the physical manifestations of choice and responsibility. To let go. To accept the hanging on is something I am doing. To let go the gripping, holding, and stuck turns to freedom, flexibility, and malleable movement.
Opening in ways that feel strong yet are not led by the mind but rather spirit. Hanging on to this tight place of protection inside instead of opening up and having fear as the catalyst that drives me deeper into my Self. This fear keeps my body from touching the ground. Holding my body in a way as if the stability of the earth beneath me might be pulled out at any time. Clenching and gliding against the pavement as I walk – my body as a hovercraft afraid to step down. Fearing the solidity. I have to step down and feel the sheer terror that it might buckle against my weight. But it doesn’t. It’s there. It’s always there. What is unstable is my faith that it is there, will be there, and has been there this whole time. To excavate the self in the way of shame and dismissal does not work. This awareness of habits and paths, neural tendencies to flee or fight. A repeating pattern. How about balance? Where to fall in the middle. Swinging far to the left to let go and face my fears and only to find myself back to the far right of stickiness and resignation. It’s the middle – being in The center of my life. Clarity. Balance, it’s balance.
What is the center? It’s not beyond me but rather within me. How to be in action while not being the action. I become aware for a moment and realize my extremities are clenched, and my jaw is also clenched. I let go.
When I move into a yoga pose, I feel my way through my body and sit in the energy that is my breath. I took action but did not become the action nor absorbed within the action itself. I always come back to the breath and adjust if something doesn’t feel right. Following how I feel, I finish my yoga practice every time with both feet on the ground, balanced on the left and the right sides of my body. Centered. Taking time to do poses that scare me, I can either let go and allow the energy to move me or clench my body as it grips old mental habits. The structured physical patterns are but a manifestation of held mental habits.
Doing my home practice, I begin to trust myself as I feel the poses and their structure. I allow the earth to hold me and the breath to sustain me. I allow the trust in myself to react to what does and does not feel right instead of pushing through thinking there is a pot of gold on the other side if I can just get there. Where is there? Balancing the right and left side both sides are centered. Compassionately balancing, accepting, and understanding the swing of my personal self therein lies the center. But that balance comes from experience and from letting go. Trusting that all is going to be OK and faith that there is something beyond me holding me, if I will just let it in, breath, and move but move and let go as I feel my way through and into it.
Taking a pose is an act of volition. Feeling my way into the pose is an act of self-trust. Breathing into the pose is an act of faith that the breath will be there. Letting go within the pose, I become aware the earth is there to hold me. Adjusting myself to take the pose is realizing there is always more than one way to do something and things are all around to offer support, you’ve just got to ask.
Yoga for me is more than a science it is a deep reflection of how to be in life; how to move with volition, trust, and faith in Self and spirit. The middle way rather than full of action with disregard for the natural progression of growth. I can’t step into a yoga class and do a backbend. I have to feel my way into it. Taking steps to open. Not by force but rather my volition with trust and faith. It’s a natural human progression, and I fall back softly into that state.
How to be in a yoga pose? How to be in life?
This is my practice – a parallel of living life within.
Doing – taking action
Being – breathing, relaxing, letting go, and adjusting
Trusting – trusting myself and trusting the ground beneath me
Faith – knowing that the breath will keep coming
Trust – trust to let go, trust to find support, trust in being and trust in the pose
Faith – that the earth is below me to hold me, the breath aka life force is within
Balance – staying in the middle, never swaying too far right or too far left
I always notice how the mind wants to compare and then cling. As I apply yoga to everyday life, I see how every yoga practice is a different experience. It comes, and it goes. There are days of flexibility and days of stiffness. Is there acceptance?
All that’s here is the pose. What are you going to do with it?
(Photo by Diego Duarte Cereceda)