November 21, 2014

I'm not even looking the right way…

By In yoga

i’ve never posted a picture of myself doing yoga on the internet before, and just to post this one too many days were spent obsessing about the composition of the photo and my own form within it. the same obsessing i might be doing while in the pose, all the endless minute adjustments for the obvious physical alignment benefits but also to improve the image i’m constantly seeing of myself in the pose; the sum total of which completely detract from the spiritual and mental benefits behind my motive to practice.

we’ll never find perfection in form, so endlessly striving for it then blurs, more than it ever should be blurred, the line between our mindset in our daily lives and our practice. maybe we will be close to perfect, so close that we can navigate safely into and out of difficult poses or situations, but will we ever know we’re close if we’re constantly trying to remedy our perceived flaws? and when else, if not in yoga, will we learn to accept these flaws and learn that wherever we are in our expression of the pose is perfect, because we’re there. a mindset that if developed and nurtured could significantly reduce stress in our lives, something we cannot reduce if we are endlessly entertaining concerns about how we are or look executing the supposedly stress reducing activities in our daily lives.

the mental space all these attempted fixes take up in our practice, should be devoted to the breathe, for it is here in our struggle to maintain that 1:1 breathe ratio, not our struggle to find the exact right angle between our shin and thigh without a protractor, that we are able to soothe our battered sympathetic nervous system, and we are able to learn that through the stress of any situation we can breathe ourselves into a deeper place of peace that isn’t worried about perfect.

and maybe it’s not so dramatic as all this, maybe “perfect” never crosses your thought-scape, but be wary of what does, notice those minor thoughts that are telling you to change, that where you are should be adjusted, are those thoughts serving the purpose of your practice?

this pose is virabhadrasana II, warrior II, and I’m not even looking the right way.

but all considered the right way (to the left, over my left middle finger) would have yielded a view of the mauna kea parking lot, as opposed to the vast blanket of clouds straight ahead what purpose and who would that have served?

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