Part 2 – Ideas I have cultivated from an embodied yoga practice
The following post is a continuation from last month’s post. If you would like to read Part 1 before you continue onward, please scroll down to Part 1 first.
These ideas are a series of thoughts that I have cultivated from my daily embodied yoga practice. These thoughts, some rather evident and some more obscure, have woven themselves into the fabric of my being and I continually call upon these pillars, these anchors, for humility, grace, support, and guidance. Perhaps these principles can help all of us see ourselves and each other more clearly.
Take care of yourself
Always find ways to take care of yourself. Even in the midst of chaos, a pandemic, or a broken heart, during moments of uncertainty or sadness, find ways to take care of yourself. Hold yourself tenderly and honestly, and listen to the needs of your body; when you need to rest, rest, and when you need to move, move. When you take the time to harvest an embodied relationship with yourself, when you take time to be still and listen, you will better know what you need to do, when you need to do it, even in the midst of difficult situations.
New experiences will bring forth new awareness. Try new ways of moving.
My practice reminds me daily that change is happening all of the time. Change is always happening in my body, my environment and in the world around me. I try to move differently everyday so that my capacity for more options grows. I am not limited by the previous days experiences, I do not hold on to what was felt or perceived or sensed yesterday, but rather allow myself in every moment to discover, learn, notice, perceive with fresh eyes. It is not that yesterday’s experience doesn’t matter; yesterday’s experience helps build my capacity for discovering, learning noticing perceiving more today. In my practice, the more of me I perceive, the more of me can be called upon for whatever is needed in the moment. Similarly, in life, the more I perceive outside of myself with curiosity and openness, the more I am able to connect and feel the always unique texture between me and others.
Trust the earth & yield
Mother earth is vast and forgiving, and can support and hold everything that you are. When you practice yielding into the support of the ground, when you actively meet and feel the effect of gravity pulling your cells toward the center of the earth, all of your held compensations and patterns begin to change. The compensatory patterns soften and become more permeable so that you may engage with the world differently and feel your self differently. When I practice trusting the ground beneath me, my body receives the support it needs. This support allows me to shift my perception of the world around me and myself. When I practice yielding I also begin to feel what is me and what is not me, where I begin and where I end. In turn, I can better support others without losing myself and listen to others without becoming defensive or disappearing. We are all a work in progress; let the earth support you in this process!
I am in process; we are in process.
Our bodies are different every day. The practice will be different every day. We are constantly evolving and so is our understanding. If we never arrive at an end point in this regard, we need to be compassionate in allowing our selves and each other time and space to find better. This recognition of myself in constant change, as well as allowing my practice to be a metaphor of that change, helps me to be accepting of myself as I continue to learn more along the way. Of course, I also make more mistakes along the way, and we all make mistakes as part of the process of change and development. So, each day, we try to ride the waves of change in the direction of feeling better in our bodies, but also making better choices in general.