Sunday, February 22, 2009
Surrender Your Myth
After over 12 hours of yoga in the last couple weeks (I'm on a kick;)...I realized that the yogi's have it all wrong. Fundamentally, the entire practice is flawed. Yet, somehow, they get so much right. So, my challenge this week was to try to silence all that the wonderful, kind, soft-spoken yogi had to say while still focusing on balance, patience, endurance, and breath...or to embrace what he had to say, with my own (rather crucial) variations.
About the third or fourth class of praying that the Lord would spare me from any evil philosophy that the well-meaning master was trying to impart and trying to direct my focus and meditation to God, I realized that the yogi was, in fact, speaking truth. He just had his terminology confused. ;)
Allow me to demonstrate...
Yogi: Surrender yourself to your breath. (V: Surrender yourself to the Lord)
Your mind spends so much time trying to convince you that all of these other things are important, when really they are nothing. As you move into the shape (through life) and focus on your breath (focus on the Lord) you will find that the only truth that exists is between your breath and the love it creates in your body (between you and the love relationship you have with the Lord). It is so freeing (Amen!).
Your breath and the shape are the only things that exist. You do not exist in space or time (in it, not of it). You think you do. You move through life wanting something and then getting angry at yourself for wanting it the next moment (yep). That is all in your mind. Your mind will always wrestle with things that do not matter (mm-hm). None of those things matter. If they ceased to exist, would you? No. If your breath ceases, do you? Your breath is all there is. (God is all there is.)
So, I found with a few conscious changes, the practice of yoga to be rather uplifting. There are so many things I love about what yoga teaches. Tonight my teacher challenged us to surrender the myth that we all go around so desperately trying to write about ourselves and live into. Our reputation, our self-worth, our need for approval- and so much of it based on so little. He poked fun at the public monologues we hold to define ourselves; we update our status on Facebook and as soon as we have the moment no longer exists. It is fleeting and false. He asked challenging questions about the assumed seriousness of it all. He said, "If any of you are going to party tonight, ask yourself, would you rather walk away knowing that people thought very highly of you and lauded you with compliments, or to have had a wonderful time?"
He summed it up, "What would happen if you just stopped trying? Just stop worrying what it looks like. Find your breath." (Find GOD).
I just love his flavor of yoga. The description of Yoga Soup is "a class offering nothing, if we're lucky." It is a practice that can feel intimidating for its serious, ethereal, meditative qualities (not to mention pretzel poses and handstands) yet Eddie will weave in a little Sound of Music, a little Coldplay, a little no-name folk guy with guitar, and "I just want to dance with somebody" and pull us out of Half Moon to jump around like small children, much in the vein of Nia. Tonight, he actually played the famous song of the Academy Awards and had us ride horseback.
It is delightfully self-deprecating....although I suppose only self-deprecating if you give any weight to the self. That's the challenge. Worth considering, I think. :)