Thursday, October 16, 2008

There But for the Grace of God Go I

This morning I thought about my yoga practice and how it seems that yoga is so much more than placement of body and breathing and stretching. Once you get past the point where you're just trying to get somewhere even slightly close to what you're supposed to be doing, things relax, and then it becomes a process of listening to your body. As the weeks and months pass, I find myself reading the instructions in my "Finding Balance: Yoga in 8 weeks with Rodney Yee" book and getting into my pose, but after that, Rodney Yee seems to fade away and the dialog is between me and my body. And even more profoundly, most of the dialog is about my body talking to me.

The more I continue my yoga practice, the more I'm drawn towards the reality of how lacking most of our society is in finding empowerment to heal themselves. I find myself associating myself more and more with "fringe" groups -- the "touchy feely, spiritual, tree-hugging-mouse-saving" types who, like me, are in their middle age and continue to search for meaning, purpose, and explanations in their lives. The reason I'm drawn towards these groups is that I find that most everyone else is just plain stressed out and not doing a thing about it.

Having been there for most of my life, and seeing myself where I am today, I know that "that" part of myself that can become chronically stressed out can overwhelm the real person underneath. So the world never gets to see that person underneath when I'm in that state. My dialog, actions, activities, diet, addictions become a web of protective covering and escape and deception both to myself and to everyone around me. Seeing that in the people around me, I can say to myself "there but for the grace of God go I....". May I never lose my true self again