Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's about your yoga..I'm afraid there's been some complications

I'm going say it.

Yoga is too complicated. And I mean this sincerely. I teach this stuff for a living, and I've watched eyes glaze over as talk of tattvas and kleshas and the various states of samadhi are outlined by those of us who have not experienced a stable state of this experience. Therefore, I submit that all of us who talk about this stuff should speak from experience, period.

Why do we love yoga? It is because of the way it makes us feel. The way it makes me feel is difficult to put into words, but if I need a flow chart and a Sanskrit dictionary I'm already in trouble. Because yoga is an experience of assimilation, of digestion of our experiences. Hatha yoga balances opposites - inhale, exhale, determination, surrender. These states do not dissolve, oh no. The problems of life do not go away. Rather we may become more able to digest our experiences. They move through us, and as they do, we witness from a place of.... the best word I can come up with is - poignancy. Poignance is the state of holding two contrasting feelings at once, like bittersweet. A bittersweet experience is the full acceptance of life's ups and downs. We don't get better at feeling both ends of the spectrum by trying to manage them, by withdrawing or by utilizing complicated yoga inner technology. We get better at feeling by...feeling. Feeling what life brings. So instead of rationalization, or in any way attempting to mask our sometimes painful experience of life, how about simply saying "this too." I feel bad. Yes, I do. And there is no shame in that, I am not less spiritual or valuable because I feel like crap sometimes. But I can hold it, hold the experience, and when it shifts, it shifts.