This week, dear friends, I want to talk about wildness and bliss.
There are some things that can be taught and others that have to be experienced, felt, lived.
I was camping once, by the beach. I sat in meditation in the black night. Beneath a cold and star-studded sky. I sat alone.
Suddenly I felt something move with me. I began to feel my body rock to the rhythm of the earth’s rotation. I felt her movement around the sun.
I swayed with her, held close, graceful partner in this primordial dance.
This still connection is not something that can be recreated. Nor is it something I’ve ever forgotten.
Now, every time I sit to meditate, a bit of the sway begins, invoking the wild dance of the earth as I dance within my mind.
There is so much we hold in, so much we contain, shape, prod and prompt, so much we work for. In life and in practice.
On our mats we often work on our posture, our balance, our alignment. We celebrate when we nail it — jump through from plank, when we land a pike or headstand. So many of us practice this path diligently. Or berate ourselves when we don’t.
We spend a lot of time in the 2-by-6 feet of our yoga mats.
But yoga was never meant to be a practice that kept us contained.
Don’t you ever wonder why you practice yoga on your mat?
Yoga began in mountaintops, hillsides, inside caves and under trees. Yoga’s roots and origins are in the deep wild.
And that wild is both outer and inner.
Some of the first yogis were matted-haired, ash-smeared, dreadlocked sadhus, who ate or smoked herbs and sat in blissful or horrific meditation for days.
Yoga’s always had a wild side. It emerges in different ways.
Under British colonization, some of these very same ash-smeared sadhus took up arms, disrupted trains and trade routes of the British East India company, and were so successful that the British created penal codes that outlawed yogis in certain areas of India.
Taking our practice off our mat, being socially engaged, in the world, with the world, changing the world, are all ways to deepen our yoga practice.
Where do you find, feel, and feed the wild — within and without? Continue reading >>