My yoga teacher reminds us that yoga is not about the poses. It is about the breathing. As I strive to balance in a lunge, with one hand on the ground and one hand reaching for the sky above me, as I twist my heart open...as I expand the reach between my right hand on the ground and my left hand in the sky...as I find my edge...as I'm doing all this I hear my yoga teacher tell the class that you are not really in the pose until you've done all this and you are breathing. Breathing comfortably.
"Well," I think snarkily, "If yoga is breathing, then I guess I've been doing yoga these two years since I stopped going to yoga class." Um. Well, I mean, yes, I've been breathing all this time but not very mindfully.
I'm truly happy to be back to yoga. It reminds me that there's a difference between just breathing and using your breath (duh). It's about noticing. Being present-minded. Noticing. Being where you are. Noticing. Did I mention noticing?
Patricia Spadaro writes in "Honor Yourself" that the "dynamic tension of opposites is exactly what gives birth to and sustains the ever-changing and ever-evolving elements of our universe." Yeah. Yoga is like that. Yoga is about the tension in a pose. Take that position where my right hand is on the ground and my left in the air. I feel much stronger when I transfer the weight away so much from my right hand to the stretch between my left hand and right.
The dynamic tension of opposites. Oh. So, life. In "The Tao of Pooh," Benjamin Hoff writes:
Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we're off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next.
That doesn't mean that the goals we have don't count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process, and it's the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever....it's really the process that's important. Enjoyment of the process is the secret that erases the myths of the Great Reward and Saving Time. Perhaps this can help us to explain the everyday significance of the word Tao, the Way.
I wish you a week of enjoying the way, enjoying the tension, enjoying the moment and the breath and the process.