Gliding calmly like a swan while paddling frantically like a duck
There are times when it appears that a person is calmly gliding like a swan when internally they are frantically paddling underwater like a duck, particularly in December when demands are high in work and family settings. How does one maintain this façade? Is it worth the effort and fatigue? Is it realistic? Do we have a choice as to how we move? These questions arose while I was attempting to let my nose come to my knee in a forward bend in yoga.
Yoga translates from Sanskript to yoke union of body and mind – to unite the devine, to reunite the individual with his or her true nature. It is not about the clothes you wear the latest labels, gadgets and fandangos. There are so many forms of yoga, each person practices with their own intentions and has there own unique journey. I recently watched and enjoyed “Who owns yoga? ‘ a documentary presented by Bhanu Bhatnagar, it explores yoga in the west and east.
Half a lifetime ago I came from my first yoga class enthralled as to how the state I entered the class changed as to when I left – yes I was able to walk. Transformation, perspiration, de stress and grounding in one session. I appreciate how yoga is non-competitive that each person is working with where there at in that point of time. Yes ego is biting at your body to become the next yoga head to achieve the super bendy elastic girl move. This internal dialogue is silenced by the teachers zen tap to humility and the guidance of the yamas and niyamas. What you may master one evening may disappear in the morning (Anitya = impermanence).
“Acceptance is transcendence” my teacher states regularly in class. This statement challenges me to be here now – in injury, sickness, wellness and a torrent of emotions. Acceptance is the reality bite I can try to run from and will lose. There is power and healing in working with where I am at in the present that provides me with a future. For example recognising my shoulders vulnerability and adapting poses. The physical purpose of yoga is to enhance circulation of energy and information through out the body through blood / lymphatic vessels, nerve pathways and acupuncture meridians. This movement reveals the mind body connection.
The purpose of yoga on a global level is to raise awareness as to how our actions affect everything. Yoga extends beyond the individual to the community encouraging practitioners to do dharma, be nonviolent, to not steal, to be truthful and to not hoard. There is a common mistake that yoga competes with world religions but one can hold their own spirituality and practice yoga.
The frantic efforts of the duck are how I can act, though with yoga practice I have found that I too can glide as the swan letting worries float away.