Let’s begin at the beginning and let’s while we are at it “think for ourselves”. Who is thinking for you? Simple question, right. But we are a product of our conditioning in life, so we might think I am in charge, of course. But who is that “I” in charge? Is it the Chairman of the Board (CofB) thinking or is it the Chief Officer (CO).
The CO might have a healthy ego but the (CofB) usually doesn’t like to be challenged and can override the CO. If this crazy metaphor sounds a little out there, it is. Why? Because they are both the same product of self and only through consciousness can we let go of this office scenario. Alas, like so much of life, the answer might be simple but the path is not. It is important also to try and not mistake the path for the destination. It takes tapas (discipline), it takes desire, it takes love.
Let’s challenge ourselves. Is your yoga practice about tapas and does the CofB take over saying you should be jumping into handstand by now, or are you letting the CO speak through your prana with love and acceptance at whatever stage you are currently at? Yes, most of us love a challenge and yes we get caught up with pictures and words of alignment but do we stop with awareness to notice the alignment of our mind. Do we stop and discern, do we stop and become mindful of the transitions.
I like to think of it less of finding a balance and more of finding a flow. Why? Because with flow there is prana, there is breath and this allows for alignment in my body, mind and spirit. An alignment in body, mind and spirit that no amount of grasping can ever achieve. A place where we might find ourselves when we learn to look beyond ourselves.
I love to teach yoga and I love to teach Ayurveda but I am always first and foremost a student of both. It is a never-ending stream of knowledge and from this knowledge I can work with many different modalities. One of my favorite things is teaching. It took a long time for me to say that out loud as the CofB was always telling me there was someone better out there. That sea of “out there” kept me on shore for a long time. It was the gift of Ayurveda that brought me out of my shell.
It is so beautiful to teach a class around the theories of this science. The asanas are the same, the pranayamas the same, the meditations the same, but the wisdom of how to use these tools in my toolbox have fine tuned my teaching. Yoga is a path for me and to share this healing with others is a gift for which I acknowledge and I am in gratitude for.
The next time you are on the mat stop and notice the elements that are playing in your practice. Can you look at the picture above and find the qualities of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth? Can you take what you need of each element and balance it with the elements present in yourself to find the flow with your practice on the mat? Can you breathe through each movement. Can you exhale? Can you find yourself?