Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Morning

Well, the new Immersion Cycle started today. We have 36 people signed up for Part One which is really great and makes for fantastic energy in the room at Breath and Body to have so many people together in a small space. (Many of you know I would rather teach a packed small room any day than a large room with people spread out. And yes, I know from the student's perspective that having personal space the size of Texas is the general preference. But for me, a small room that is packed full is the best. It is easier for me to get around, easier to observe alignment, easier to make adjustments, and more difficult for the students to space out.)

After a somewhat long preamble of "How to Take and Immersion from Christina Sell and other housekeeping details" we talked about the Power of Intention and how longing for freedom is the very basis of asana as a creative expression. It is really an interesting thing to consider.

I know for me personally, really allowing myself to long for something, to really admit to myself the depth of my wanting or need (I am not talking here about wanting a new outfit from Lululemon- I am talking about the deeper kind of longing- for connection, for meaning, for excellence, etc.) is a very vulnerable state. Doubt and insecurity arises- What happens if I do not get it? What if that is just too big to wish for? What if I cannot make that happen? And so forth. And really, the truth is I may not get what I most long for. There is no guarantee. But, lately, I think, why not risk the wanting anyway and spend my time, energy and attention dedicated to those things that might point me in that direction. At least then there is a chance. Why take the safe-seeming road of not admitting to myself what I want, not applying myself toward that end and thus guaranteeing that I won't get it?

And what is "getting it" anyway? It may not be what we think it is. HTe process of moving from the longing, being guided and inspired form it and engaging our practice with such intentionality is actually "it" as much as anything else. I am reminded of a poem by Rumi about longing. I mentioned it last night in class and thought I might include it here.


One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said, "So I have heard you calling out,
but have you ever
gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidir, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.

Then we did an asan practice: (This is actually John's sequence from his notes that he shared with me.)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Prasarita Paddotanasana
Surya Namaskar
-lunge pose
Vira 2
Ardha Bhekasana
eka pada raja kapotasana prep
eka pada raja kapotasana prep with thigh stretch
Setu bandhasana
supta padangusthasana

We have a great group. I could not be more thrilled. It will be a great year together.


Stephanie R.Y.T. said...

No slack for Miss Emily Liles - she's a trooper; make her prove it :)

ron said...

Just like last night when you mentioned this poem, just like right now as I read this poem for the first time, that deep longing wells up inside and the tears stream down. I have always believed that my deep longing for love, for acceptance, for connection stemmed from the fact that my father was mostly absent from my life and was unable to express his love towards me. And that's the key--he loved me deeply but his own suffering disabled him from expressing that love. So, I have always thought he never loved me, and throughout my life that deep longing for his love has never left me. It's as though it created a vacuum within me, a giant empty space that I've always tried to fill, quite often in a way that led to a clinging for attachment (such as wanting to attach myself to those people who are emotionally unavailable--just like Dad). It is just profound to realize the higher purpose of this deep longing, and how I can use it to be a Seeker of truth, of Self, of creative expression, and how this longing in and of itself is a gift and not a handicap. It's part of what drives me forward. Yoga has taught me and IS teaching me not to turn away from this longing but to turn towards it. It is truly the peeling back of another layer and finding that moment of another awakening of a deeper awareness. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem, I've been wondering much of the morning how I might find it and here it is.

mark said...

Don't surrender your loneliness
So quickly.
Let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My voice
So tender,

My need of God
I love monotheistic mystics...

Jeremiah Wallace said...

Interesting that you write about this. Have you ever heard of the film Amorres Perros with Gael Garcia Bernal? Amorres Perros basically means "Dogs of Love," but it's a play on words so it could kinda mean a few things... naturally. But we watched that about 2 weeks ago here in Ecuador and though it can be very graphic, it's a good movie as long as you don't mind reading subtitles. But there's definitely some *beautiful* representations of longing- some that are resolved the way we hope, some that are not. You should check it out. Love from South America.