The Pose Behind the Pose
What is a pose?
In my understanding, a pose is an opportunity to explore deep rooted patterns and expectations. A physical tangible experience in which one comes face to face with all the realities avoided by creating other experiences in which to distract oneself with. This can be numerous things.. most commonly recognized as victimization, denial, busyness, defensiveness, unhealthy relationships, and the list goes on. But these aren’t necessarily bad things.. just part of being a human. A perfectly imperfect being and there is no getting around that simple truth.
Its been very freeing for me to accept this. Its amazing how compassionate and forgiving the world looks when choosing to view life, yoga, and everything in fact as a vehicle to examine the lens in which we view the world. What happens though when given the opportunity to change the prescription and the perspective? Its an uncomfortable place to be.. in that space between reaction and transformation especially when there is no road map leading to “Shift in Perspective.”
This is where I have found my practice to be most beneficial. Not only am I cultivating the intuition to sense a familiar scenario happening whether it be in actions or beliefs, but the willingness to investigate a self imposed understanding of a posture or situation creates a new imprint in my mind. The imprint of pause and exploration without judgement.
We can only transform when respecting the transitions- whether that be as simple as breathing freely and completely during vinyasa without rushing, bending a knee an inch more in warrior two and experiencing how that simple act opens up a whole other level of awareness in the lower body and spine, or trying to stretch your chest forward and straighten your legs and arms a little more in tortoise pose before making the transition to bind. Because even if you can bind and maybe cross your legs behind your head, there is so much more to be learned and gained by taking the time to respect the process and investigate that “drive by” element of the posture even if it is hard and “you can do it anyway so whats the point”. It is the belief that we have figured it all out already that keeps us stuck in old patters and suffering. Choose to embrace the opportunity to explore another point of view in posture so you can apply that habit to your life thus creating less likelihood of learning the same lesson over and over again.
That being said, once you have been courageous enough to pause in your practice and allow new levels of awareness and physical openings to arise, often we need outside help in the form of an adjustment in posture or objectivity in conversation to authentically integrate this fresh consciousness into our lives and truly transform. Cultivating the humility to seek out a trusted teacher and ask for help – whether it be a yoga instructor, mother, best friend, or colleague is essential to truly achieve the benefits. Ultimately we are all teachers and students of each other offering something unique and special.
Some people practice yoga to see what they can do.. others practice to see who they are. Lets be the latter.