Words & Pictures

Yoga – the whole picture

on December 20, 2013 No comments

Sometimes I get a bit weary of all the “look at how great my body and my life” yoga pictures and quotes that are out there. Mainly because I think they don’t show the whole picture. I love positivity and beautiful pictures, it’s great to celebrate as long as we are still honest. Some days practice is tough, some days I just feel sad, some days feel dark. Practice can be both celebration and joy. But true joy encompasses the dark and the light. And isn’t practice about being present with what’s there, rather than looking to be calm or balanced or some other ideal that is not truly where we are at? If we are not careful, yoga can become a stick to beat yourself with. A search for an ideal and within that is a pressure to pretend that we are supremely sorted, calm and in control; rather than honest, real, people.

When darker emotions rise, anger, desire, frustration, grief, its great to be able to recognize it mindfully and know that it will pass. But, if we do not ever allow it, and give in to its messiness then I feel that we do not fully embrace what it is to be human. Take belly laughing…impossible to do mindfully, it just wouldn’t happen if you were being mindful about it. And we all know how delightfully close laughing is to crying. Sometimes it’s okay to break into a million little pieces. Infact, this is the process of yoga.…..

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction” Cynthia Occeli.

We need to break in order to be visible and shed some light on what needs to be seen.

“The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. The carry on.” Elizabeth Gilbert.

We always employ the 3 second rule in our house.

Surely, being human is about experiencing the full spectrum of our emotional life. We can feel totally raw and still be grateful and reach beyond to those around us and our practice and our life. Yoga is not about what a strong beautiful body we have and what a ‘together’ person we must be to achieve that.

“Although there are many physical places one can go to feel her way back home. The physical plane itself is not home; it is only the vehicle that rocks the ego to sleep” Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

I can honestly say, my greatest challenges and joys come from allowing my most vulnerable self to show…be that out of necessity, celebration or despair. I am learning that the messy parts of me, that I feel scared to show are not my weakness but the parts that hold my deepest strength.

So today I feel quiet and tired and sad. I still practiced. And I am still totally grateful for my life. I am human and I am alive.

And day always follows night.

Carly MountainYoga – the whole picture

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