Saturday, May 21, 2011

Inner Peace? Well yes, among other things

Recently Ed Halliwell wrote an article debunking the everpresent peace of meditation in his article in The Guardian, Meditation is an Emotional Rollercoaster. How true he is. And it got me thinking to my yoga practice.

I've often come to the mat eager to get that sense of buoyancy that comes from immersing myself in my practice. Just let go and give in. But yoga really isn't about that. The practice, for me, is so much about awareness, attuning to my environment, inner and outer, and zero-ing in on the intricacies of my body. It's not about being flexible, if you think so you've missed the boat, or, rather, you're going to have to wrestle that expectation to the ground for a K.O. Some days I'm flexible, other days I'm tight. I've got to accept where I am from day to day, from moment to moment. No matter how much I hang on to routine, every day is different.

Recently I have awakened to the yogic practice as constant corporeal vigilance. The moment I sink in, ie forget about all those bandhas and all the muscle and bone alignments, I've lost it. Can yoga make me injury free? Sure, but I've got to remain awake to my body. It's about getting into the habit of constantly kindling the inner fire. Sure I can achieve some peace, but I can also deal with lots of frustration along the way. It's like going into the body and turning on all the switches and making sure they stay on. Only then can I truly shine.

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