May my yoga practice transform the fire under my ass into the light of awareness.
I am awed and inspired by the time I spent with Judith Lasater last week, to say the least. It has had a profound impact on the way that I am teaching, what I've been practicing and has excited me to think more about many different things. The one singing out most to me right now is learning to rest.
Yoga practice has taught me to look for moments of rest, both on and off the mat. First, am I getting enough rest? Sleep, yes, but enough rest? Do I take enough time in the day to do nothing at all? I think not. :) The mind needs time to synch with the body and breath (i.e. make yoga) during each day in order to integrate the fullness of human experience. As a culture, we’re bombarded with sensory information day in and day out, encouraging us to work harder, smell more taste more see more do more be more. Media, tv shows, jobs, and many educational paradigms create a fire under our collective ass telling us to Move Move Move! How ‘bout for just 15 minutes a day I just “Be Be Be???” So, without having figured out a more poetic way of saying it, my mantra for now is, May my yoga practice transform the fire under my ass into the light of my own awareness.
I’ve been talking a lot in classes recently about this very thing—in terms of asana practice, one of the things that sets yoga apart from many other forms of movement is the cultivation of the observer mind—that person within us who can compassionately recognize the present and who notices the flow of thought, the feeling of the breath and the residue of the postures and their effects in the body. To pause between poses, to take time to rest and observe, is not a pausing or a stopping of the yoga practice; it’s a part of the yoga practice. Claude Debussy said of his art, “Music is the space between the notes.” We see this idea again in a famous quote from a contemporary jazz icon. Said Dizzy Gillespie, "It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play." May my yoga practice teach me the importance of rest[s].