I was reading an article on asana (yoga postures) the other day. There were a lot of the usual Yoga type things in there: health, love, peace, connection…
Unfortunately there was also something else very familiar in there. Something that left a residue that has been rattling around in my head and heart ever since.
The article talked about finding the full potential of the pose; how to get your body into these positions so that you can finally get there…as if Yoga was a shape that we needed to fit into.
The residue I was feeling was coming from the realization that I don’t care about the full potential of the pose. The poses are abstract shapes made up by our minds that we as Yogi’s try to fit our bodies into.
I don’t care about the potential of the pose. I care about the potential of the person.
I’m not interested in forcing anyone into a shape. I don’t care if your heels reach the ground in Down Dog; I care about learning about how our movements and actions effect ourselves.
I don’t care if your head touches your knee in forward bend. I care about knowing how your pelvis is moving so you can create a deeper connection and understanding with your own body. And, in doing so, have a more fulfilling relationship with mind, body, life, breath and others. I care about inhabiting our bodies and lives fully.
I don’t care if you can put your leg around your head. I care about creating ease and peace within, creating harmony with the body and self so that one day that harmony will echo out into our world.
I don’t care if you can stand on your head. I care about being able to breath and the ability to weather life’s curve balls; to be able to stand and breath through anything.
Like one of my favourite yoga teachers says: “Nothing magical happens when your forehead touches your knee. It’s not an enlightenment button.”
I care about creating resiliency in our body and hearts. The poses are simply one of many yogic tools that are used for creating presence, awareness; through that the understanding of oneness arises.
That’s where I teach my classes from. Yoga is not about fitting our bodies into a shape.