“In western culture, we tend to analyze, fix, and control just about everything. If we don’t like something about ourselves or our lives, we keep trying to figure out what is wrong & then fix it…” “ Eastern thought has a different idea about this: East parts ways with the West at the point of needing to understand and fix. It is here that Eastern thought introduces the idea of “the witness”.
The witness is our ability to watch ourselves act and respond. It is this ability to watch which brings healing to our lives.
Knowing that we aren’t who we thought we were begins to open up the possibility of knowing our true Self.”
‘The Yamas & The Niyamas’ Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice. by Deborah Adele.
What if we who practice yoga asana regularly, came to yoga with no prior knowledge, no degree of expectation? We simply arrived on a floor and rolled out a mat.
Beginner’s mind. Clean Slate. No I can. No I cannot.
What if we had no preconception of our selves as; weak, skinny, fat, not-that-smart, overqualified, strong, kind, nasty, narcissistic, altruistic, vegan, paleo, gluten-free. No opinion on nature vs nurture.
What if when you arrived on that mat that looping inner-audio file telling you who you are & what you can & cannot do just floated away? The expectations, the prior knowledge of this thing called yoga and this thing called self. A state of simple acceptance (Ha), a child-pre (yes, I make up words). No shame, no guilt, no jury of the bodymind…
And what if in that state of simple acceptance and being, we took in breath. Drank it in, loved it’s new taste, loved the dynamic shift in our organs as we sipped this new concoction. Reveled in the out-breath, noticed the release of the belly, the lungs, the bones, the muscles, as we exhaled without force, naturally.
What if we danced our yoga, engaging in movement with no sense of being ‘looked’ at, finding our own internal rhythm. What if we could hear our heart beats, our very individualized pulse rates, as warm organic drum beats in the vast forest of our bodies? And that that drum beat & that breath lead us into the tenderest of fascial exploration, the sweetest dance of muscle on bone, the gentlest action of tendon & ligament, of nadis and veins, of chakra and vagas nerve. What if we let that sound shape our yoga, our bodymind, our selves.
What if we started all over again.
What if we took the knowledge of that witnessing & ran with it. That glorious moment in our existence of just being & we saw that we could.
I’m chuckling to my self now, as I contemplate the complexity of knowing who I am, witnessing my inner habitual shit & breathing into it to dissipate it, to specifically not indulge it. And the winner is!?