The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

My Photo
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Moving To A Position Of Power

I have always wondered why the lightbulb moment that occurs in the life and practice of most yogis have always eluded me. In books and conversations, I hear how yoga has transformed, healed, liberated, empowered, etc someone. Everyone, it seems, except me. Why, I asked slightly resentful, did this lifting-of-the-mist moment keep skating by me?

Then I had brunch with The Anusara Yogi today and she handed me the answer on a silver platter. Or rather, on a spoonful of pea and ham soup.

Work and life had gotten in the way as usual and it had been three months since we last caught up. The conversation glided from work to yoga and before I knew it, I found myself telling her about a battle in which I am embroiled. She listened carefully, without judgement and then told me bluntly how appalled she is that I am allowing someone to treat me in that way.

"You're so beautiful, intelligent and could you let someone bully you like this?" she said in disbelief.

"I have a bosom buddy named Guilt," I replied dryly.

We talked more and she asked me what my next step was. I told her, my voice trailing off when she held up a hand and shook her head vehemently.

"You are still being submissive and giving the other person the upper hand. You are giving in. You need to move into a position of power."

We talked even more and with each ticking minute I gained a greater sense of clarity. Then the conversation swung back to yoga and I bemoaned the fact that my practice has never once seemed to help me in my personal crisises. The Anusara Yogi leaned forward and said very seriously;

"How you achieve alignment on the mat is how you handle issues in life. Anusara Yoga is very precise. You have to be aware of every small part of your body affects your overall alignmen in a pose. I've noticed that there are some students in my class who struggle with the same pose for years, not because of physical limitations, but a lack of body awareness. Lack of awareness on the mat reflects a lack of awareness in life and reluctance to progress on the mat reflects their struggle to move ahead in their personal lives as well."

I found this remarkably intriguing! And then the lightbulb moment came. I, too, have struggled with the same poses for years. My practice always consists of the safe familiar poses so I don't have to face my longtime fear of being upside down. Looking at my life, I tend to do the same. Flirt at the boundaries, but dare not cross them in case I lose my balance and fall.

From tomorrow (it's always tomorrow isn't it!) I will make the necessary changes to my practice and see how it plays out in my personal life.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home