Saturday, July 30, 2016

Healing beyond the physical

Hear your story on your mat
I froze, standing on the left side of my mat, dripping in sweat like I had just stepped out of a shower, still conscious of struggling to slow my breath down. I was aware too, that I no longer wished to catch up to the class in Trikonasana, nor did I have any inkling or need to collapse.

All I wanted to do was to bring along with me the young juvenile that I once was, that was now in my imagination, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of me. Her head was bent down so that her long, straight unprocessed hair hung down a good 3 inches below her shoulders.

Interestingly enough and perhaps paradoxically, she is one of the reasons why I have gotten so involved in the Bikram community in the first place, even for the third year in a row competing in the national championship. Now here I was three years later, finally accomplishing what I had set out to do, to continue to bring more light to those parts of myself that still didn't feel good, and it involved no longer running over her but rather taking her along with me.

My teacher says that when you are praying for someone that you must imagine in your mind going up to that person, and handing her or him your prayer, placing it in their outstretched, cupped hands. So I did a modified version, gazing up at myself in the full-length mirrors that covered one entire wall, delighted in visualizing the desperate girl actually getting up off of the floor and merging with my effort to refine the poses.

My teacher is a Guru. I rarely share with anyone that I have a Guru because it's so atypical that I feel few will be able to relate. But after having just read one of Steve Jobs' biographies and learning that he too had a Guru, I thought to myself, of course, he had a guru. How else could he have accomplished all he had in his life?  For another blog.

There's a backstory to this antidote that needs to be told. The day prior to the event I was studying from a well-published author and read how important it is to assimilate new knowledge. It struck a familiar cord with me since assimilation is something that I've heard over and over again from the yoga path that I have been involved with for years.

 In my understanding, assimilation is not thinking but rather being the witness to your own mind and how it works, like a jigsaw puzzle it yearns to fit all of the pieces together to complete the picture, or in Steve Jobs' words, connecting the dots and trusting that they will all come together.

It's partly what we allow for in Savasana, along with giving time and space for the body to rest and calibrate the breath to a deeper, more fluid movement.

I think it where ah ha moments are born like the one that I had in the studio that morning, to be shown what assimilation is on a very profound, powerful, intimate level. As usual with yoga, with good intention and right self-effort the results are magical, so much more than I ever could have hoped for or even imagined.

Happy healing,