Sunday, May 22, 2011

Alone Together, Together Alone (Building From the Ground Up, Part Three)


...useta see yoga class as pretty much like any other educational venture...a place to gain useful information and/or skills...(and, y’know...maybe meet some babes)...that could then be effectively utilized elsewhere...with that absolute elsewhere always and essentially the focal point...or drishti if ya wanna get all yogic about it...and, in the case of yoga, that meant a reasonably quiet, and, in some sense, spiritual space, by myself...the inherently anchoritic practice of the serious yogi walking that path so fine that it can only be walked alone, like it says in the Bible and the Upanishads and that Grateful Dead song, toward enlightenment or at least a better relationship with oneself and maybe a bit less depression and anxiety in the morning and knees that won’t give out from biking up all those hills...or something like that...

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way....
Matthew 7:14

The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over...
Katha Upanishad

The path to happiness is so narrow that two cannot walk on it unless they become one.
Unknown

If I knew the way, I would take you home...
Robert Hunter, Ripple

...then, however, with an enticing mixture of compassionate guidance, collective experience, sense of community...(seriously, for all the stories I read online about people sniping about each other’s designer yoga wear...not to mention the nasty arguments online yogis get into...I rarely meet any but the nicest people in yoga classes...creating a sweet supportive sadhana in which it's perfectly okay that I try and fail again and again to get so much as a toe off the floor in side-crow...parsva bakasana...knowing that we’re all, in our own ways, struggling along our own paths, and it’s nice to have sympathetic company along the way)...yoga class itself kinda became the thing...and practicing solo became what I did when for one reason or other I couldn’t go to a class...and, even then, usually skipped it...having become, inadvertently, my own disappointing substitute teacher...thinkin’ damn, looks like I’m stuck with myself today...

We prefer to go deformed and distorted all our lives rather than not resemble the portrait of ourselves which we ourselves have first drawn.
André Gide

You gave up all the golden factories,
to see
who in the world you might be
...
Joni Mitchell

...and, then, such an outward and interactive focus goes along quite neatly, I think, with that part of Yoga for Cynics mission statement that goes something like...if I remember correctly...yoga is about opening...

...and yet, I realize, that’s not all...

...no, no, don’t worry, I’m not gonna start throwing vedas and sutras and florid potpourris of ancient beliefs at ya...though, for some people, that stuff certainly qualifies and may be essential for grounding...

...which is what I’m talkin’ about...or trying to, at least...(with, perhaps, all the more relevance now, on the day after the alleged apocalypse...which I wrote about yesterday, here...serving, perhaps, as a kinda reminder that life here on earth is what we’ve got to deal with...and that might be for the best)...

...what I mean is the establishment of a stable if ultimately provisional base from which to open...that mulabandha thing...the Shiva thing as it relates to the Shakti thing...trust me, I’ve read about this shit...the reasonably solid foundation from which the asana grows and expands upward and outward...the still point...or perhaps, a comfortable self...

...which can be hard to find...and might require openness...which, like I said, requires grounding.....as always, it's a work in progress...

5 comments:

patti said...

"...thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard."
Yup!

Meredith LeBlanc said...

As Scarlet said in her translation of PYS 1.14 : With dedication and consistency, regular practice over a long period of time will reap steadiness in mind and body resulting in liberation...it all takes patience, baby, patience.

I don't normally quote the sutras but this one seemed to fit in nicely.

LauraX said...

opening our hearts to "just this" whatever the "this" of our life happens to be is the most grounding asana of all...at least it has been for me...not that I like my life in all moments...but over all, I feel pretty blessed to be ensouled in this particular form at this particular time...no matter when it all "ends" I'm so grateful to be here right now.

so many great quotes sprinkled in here Dr. Jay!...my word verification is "blesses"...may we all be blessed in recognizing the sweetness of our lives and the beauty of the people whose paths cross our own.

Fitness Equipment said...

Good read and comments

earthtoholly said...

I guess biking is my yoga, at least as far as a reasonably quiet, and, in some sense, spiritual space, by myself... . Would still love to try the real thing, but there are some weight issues to deal with first, however, the more I bike, the more I eat. Ack.

...my own disappointing substitute teacher... That's funny, I like that.

Nice pic, too, drjay.