Doing yoga is a strange thing. The body, although it has a language of its own, is also silent. Yoga lives within the language of silence. And so we learn something that is fresh, and in this freshness it can feel as if we are coming alive, as if before we were heavy with stories and time, and now, in the present, we can learn to sing.
B.K.S. Iyengar would say that when you do yoga you are not thinking, you are resetting your self, being present in the now for the time that you are practicing. So he would recommend a lot of time to practice!
Coming and practicing in Bali has that effect too. People always feel altered by this time. Perhaps you would call it a holiday or a break, but I don’t believe that. We have become unreflective by what consumes us. We think that everyone is healed by holidays, by time for ourselves, when actually what we are responding to is being woken up and engaged. Given this fresh sensitivity, this opportunity to experience the very sacredness of our lives, and not accepting this narrow vision of ‘I’ and its needs, we discover this expanded yet simplified knowledge of how to live.
For so many years I went to India. I went and learned yoga. I learned about myself, my fears and anxieties, my anger and, about teaching. What I did not see was how I was being rewired, reorientated. I did not have a lot of words for all of this except I remember the energy flowing through me, the focus in my mind, how I was being taught to do this, eat certain foods, concentrate on the present, not going here and there, or making the mind and body restless by aimless activities, or the refusal to choose. There was one thing to do – stay home, inside, learn. And I flourished.
So much today is to do with how we look at things, the perceptual band we are tuned into, the cultural norms we find ourselves adopting without a thought. We are programmed by our culture. We are told what we should want; who we should be; even what we should eat. It is as if our bodies are not wise enough to know. But they do…if we dare listen.
Yoga is a fresh and direct teacher – a lens changer, a maker of the now.
Come again, to Bali, to retreat and to be immersed.