The journey not the destination

Hi Everyone,

Everybody loves when things are black and white, right and wrong, true and false, victim and persecutor etc…

Our collective minds err on the side of lazy and prefer things to be simplistic. We can position ourselves on one polarity and demonise or blame the opposite side. Media, advertising, gossip etc feed into this habit, dividing and pitching us against each other.

As a child I used to be bewildered at the division of my parents, Mum being a Labour supporter, Dad a staunch National man, and ensuing arguments that followed.

Unfortunately in the real world things are endlessly grey, nuanced and inherently confusing. Our perceptions and intuitions can be horribly off the mark. The Double Split Experiment is probably the most famous example of the fact we actually have no idea what is really going on with reality.

The land of not knowing is an insecure space to be in, lacking the security of the familiar but it’s also an incredibly creative space filled with untapped potential. As soon as you say it should be this way or that, the unlimited nature gets stifled.

As it is with Asana practice. If you make it too rigid you spend all your time trying to conform to what the teacher is demonstrating, forcing your body into some perceived ideal shape or movement. This violent act breaks the yogic guideline of Ahimsa (non violence). Yet the other polarity of being too unstructured and loose, can lead to habitually repeating the same unconscious patterns of movement and behaviour, until something goes awry and pain becomes the great motivator.

The Asana themselves are arbitrary and as crazy as this sounds, they are the means, not the end.

It's a bit like an upside down world. We have been schooled to focus on the goal as the main objective but from what I have experienced, as cliche as it sounds, it’s in the exploration of these objectives, where the gems are to be found.

I would encourage you to drop all sense of right and wrong and replace that with a sense of curiosity and exploration. Bring as much awareness into each movement as possible, building proprioception and interoception as super powers or Yogic powers :)

The same way you build strength through repetition, we can strengthen these two powers which have an incredible impact on our daily lives and our experience of reality.

This for me is the gold in the practice and due to its subtle nature makes it difficult to explain and teach. It would be much easier to make rules about movement, saying move this way or that, making pretty shapes but after a while you have to ask yourself "what is the point”? The point for me isn’t in the shapes themselves but in the increased awareness of the journey in making them that directly translates into “increased awareness of reality itself.”

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