Friday, October 23, 2009


I couldn't find my balance in yoga class yesterday. The same half-moons and prayer twist lunges that I had moved into so beautifully a few days before were like dreams in the mist, just out of my reach. I stumbled and tripped and fell over, unable to hold onto the lightness and ease that call these poses into being. I kept struggling toward them, and the struggle itself just drove them farther away.

There is little in yoga that shows me my mental state more clearly than balance poses. I can move through the warrior variations mindlessly and be totally oblivious in downward dog, but attempt just one half-moon with anything other than a perfectly calm mind and I'm doomed to wiggle and wobble - and unlike a Weeble, I do fall down. So my mind affects my body's abilities, and my emotions affect my mind's abilities, and from trying to balance on one hand and one foot I find myself ensnared in raw, unfiltered emotion. When there is something I am fighting, something I haven't accepted, something I can't let go of, I tumble and fall. When I am in harmony with all that is, when I put aside liking and disliking and focus on being, I settle peacefully into the pose.

Not hard to see this as a metaphor for all of life, is it?

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