When ever I hear someone say, “that’s not yoga”, I always chuckle inside because they remind me of an earlier version of myself.
Yoga, Pilates and GYROTONIC® have become a sort of trinity for me. These mind body techniques have one main thing in common: they all ask you to be present.
These practices guide the thinking part of ourselves inward into a space of focused attention that transcends time and space. When we are fully present there are no words, lineages or traditions, there is the lack of all that has been or will be, so that the here and now may reveal itself. The traditions of yoga, Pilates, Qi-Gong, etc are vehicles that transport our psyche out of the time space continuum into the present moment; the eternal now. Nowadays when I hear this type of comment of, ‘that’s not yoga’ or ‘that’s not Pilates’, or my favorite, ‘you teach Pilates like a yoga teacher,’ rather than defending why it is or isn’t a certain thing, I realize that we are all struggling to name and categorize the nameless, which is the experience of being whole and not separate from our source. Through the repetitive practice of visiting this internal space of awareness and communion with source energy, the illusion of separation begins to fall away.
This practice of being in the now is like peeling an onion with an infinite center. There is no where to go, the whole point of the practice is just to peel the onion of the Self for the sake of simply being present. As we aspire to align with That which is ideal, optimal, correct and appropriate, we are reminded that we are in constant flux. What felt ‘correct’ one day may not feel that way the next. What was ‘correct’ for one body, may not be for the other. This is absolutely fascinating and humbling if we can let go of our desire to be ‘correct´. The ability to perceive our own physical, mental and emotional daily changes and to develop the sensitivity to see them in others requires the discipline of time.
Teachers and practitioners of mind body disciplines hopefully live and teach based on personal sweat, tears and time spent in awareness, as opposed to time spent repeating ideas they have never experienced. As teachers we have the privilege of sharing and guiding others into this sublime experience of being through movement. When we are able to clearly communicate an experience of awareness to our students they, sometimes unknowingly, enter into this space of being here now and become inspired, excited, joyful and grateful… hence, the healing is occurring.
As we grow in our practice, we become the practice itself and ideas like, ‘that’s not yoga’ become silly as we realize everything is yoga. Yoga literally means to yoke together, from the yuj, often defined as “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach.” As we cultivate the experience of being in the now, whether it be on a reformer, mat or airplane, we create unity within ourselves and the need to define what it is that makes us feel connected begins to fall away. The world becomes the yoga mat as we grow into the practice, and as we grow into the practice, it becomes us…and it never ends so you’re constantly being given opportunities for conscious change and living! Let’s co-conspire and co-create this summer at the Polestar Life Conference! Keynote speaker, Marilyn Schlitz’s address, “Bridging Consciousness, Science and Society” will explore the science behind subtle energies, bio fields, and mind body practices, so that we may learn to embrace our innate gifts of healing for ourselves, our relationships, and our world.
See you in San Diego!