For more than 37 years I have practiced yoga, and yet still I feel I am learning another language. It takes me by surprise, as things that are new often do. This language, this series of poses, is fresh, alive, requiring a different way of entering into the conversation. We can certainly box yoga into a continuation of all of our habits, but the body is forever changing, it is fluid, affected by everything – temperatures, people, illness, moods and thoughts. It shows strengths and weakness. But it is absolutely who we are. And it longs to communicate with us.
And am I bored with this yoga practice after all this time? Yes, my mind can be resistant, but when the knee bends and I begin taste, then NO. . I still want to enter this world of mystery. The mystery of me and our world, the micro and the macrocosm.
The words yoga and practice can sound like a fixed thing, until the components of body/mind/soul enter into the equation. It is then we find how little we know and so we must dance and play with a beginner’s mind. Listening to her strange language is fascinating and revealing. The way she holds fear, anger, or heals, or doesn’t heal. The way she travels through time. What gets relinquished, what is gained, and lost. When we stand on the mat to start, a gear change happens as we notice the mind and her habits of knowing everything, entering into the deep and often silent waters of the body. We are artists facing a blank page, explorers looking into the unknown.
It is a language that is not familiar so mostly what happens, as in any power differential, is we become like the dominant person in a conversation, taking over before the other has finished, or even started. We use only one channel, the mind, and there we find in words and thoughts our already formed ideas. The body gives us a language like space – timeless, quiet, still, fierce, strong.
Somehow we need to ask our childlike selves along as we begin to play, to respond, to be curious, and to not already have the solution in our minds. We need to set out into the deep with our fears and prejudices, and be ready to be turned and turned around into the dance of faith, openness.
Join us for the next spring intensive and bring the joy and freedom of mind back into your yoga. Come and taste the joy.