Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Morning

We worked on a lotus sequence last night in class at 7th Street. I really love teaching at Seventh Street Yoga. The studio is so nice and the students are so well trained and so attentive. Last night I would give an instruction, look up, and watch all these bodies move into position. It was pretty fabulous! And it was fun to see so many people there who had been at John's workshop over the weekend.

I am on the brink of a cold but it seems not to be moving in- I have unleashed a veritable arsenal of natural remedies toward that end, including a mantra to make me a less hospitable host to any germ that is near and so far so good.

Kelly and I drove into Austin last night for my class and I asked him what his theme would be if he was teaching that night. We ended up having a nice discussion about how change and transformation has a lot to do with dealing with discomfort but how it is really worth it. His theme, he said, would have been about going inward, seeing yourself and then bringing certain changes outward.

It dovetailed nicely into a consideration I am mulling around these days regarding yoga and how deeply paradoxical it can seem at times. There is this idea that we are already that which we seek, there is no way to "earn" grace- it is already ours. And yet, it is a process of radical change and transformation since what we have to discern experientially is who we really are separate from who we think we are or who we think we should be. Really it is both a kind of deep acceptance process as well as a process of change.

I am finding these days that a lot of my suffering comes from my wanting something to be one way or the other. In my life, within myself, in my relationships, etc. But life is rarely one thing or the other. It is not black and white. Most things are shades of grey or maybe even better yet- life comes in a spectrum of color. Many times I can get a little relief- or a little breathing room- when I can remember that seemingly contradictory things can coexist, if I can allow all the shades of the rainbow to be present in whatever thing I am dealing with.

This may come to some people naturally but for me, not so. It is something I have to cultivate. And the cool thing is that Anusara Yoga is a path of "both, and" not "either,or". I find the whole yoga thing to be tedious along these lines a lot. How many times to we decide or have to endure someone who has decided about us that "because we do yoga we should____________ or we shouldn't __________." Fill in the blanks for yourself because they are endless and each one of us may be tortured by different expectations and so forth.

My thinking on this lately is that all that, while it has something to do with yoga, is not really what the path is offering at all. Sure there are guidelines, structures, protocols and so forth for our life and practice--but really, what yoga is inviting us to is so far beyond the realm of do's, don'ts, should's and shouldn'ts. It is an invitation to a world of color and then I suppose to the essence of light itself but that is a bit too far out for me to grasp this morning.

I know some of this might sound a little vague this morning but its what's on my mind. Hope your day is well, colorful!

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