Being Whole

Nov 14, 2012 by

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

– David Brinkley

I keep a photo of a beautiful young woman doing the yoga pose ‘half moon’ on my fridge. It’s actually an ad for a yoga company – not something I’d expect to want to keep. The pose she holds presents a physical challenge I’ve never really achieved – I’m lucky if I can do an approximation of it while I’m holding onto something.  While balancing on one foot, the yogini lifts her other foot to the side and holds it. Unlike me, she stands balanced and erect while gracefully stretching out her other arm.

It’s not the pose that inspires me, nor the quote stretched across the photo, ”My practice reminds me I am whole.” What keeps that scrap of magazine decorating my kitchen is that the leg she’s holding is artificial.  I need the many reminders the photos poses to me:

  • balance is difficult – both physically and in the arena of  life
  • we’re all different
  •  in essence we’re all whole & all amputees of one kind or another
  • being present with what we have makes it possible to carry on with dignity no matter the challenge
  •  it’s how we deal with what comes to us that counts and not what we’re given
  • If we look,  we can find reasons to be grateful

Have you noticed petty thoughts disappear during yoga practice? During yoga-time you have nothing to attend to but yourself. It is an opportunity to collect the parts of you that became transparent during outer-directed attention. Whether you can or cannot do a pose doesn’t matter – either way, as you watch thoughts arise, yoga becomes an exercise in self-exploration.  You can notice thoughts bouncing around your mind – the stings from little insecurities like ‘you’re not good enough.’ And then if you’re still present to yourself, these thoughts effortlessly dissolve into the thin air from which they arose. It’s just part of the process of yoga.

Doing yoga in a group versus alone supports finding the ‘yoga space’. If you’re interested in laying a foundation with the bricks thrown at you, a yoga class that encourages introspection and mind-body-spirit connection makes it easier to go more deeply into yoga.

 

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