by Matthew Remski
Epoche Gr.: the intersubjective moment in which experience reduces to seamless phenomena through the suspension of judgment. Said to happen when ideas about the world are “bracketed” and set aside for the sensory truths of relationship to emerge.
You begin to lengthen a muscle. At the first stroke of pleasure it takes over and lengthens itself. Your breath seeps into a forgotten place. A limb straightens. A network of unseen contractions disengages. Flesh and thought soften to neutral. Thought pauses its forward rush, and flesh reverses its retreat. The page goes blank in the script of identity. Pain diffuses with a flush of hot circulation. The pregnancy of future concern delivers the presently known and felt. Yoga happens to you.
Living forces honesty. Answers are seasonal, losing their sense precisely as they become scripture. You will die: this is the primary meaning. The world around you seems to bear helpless witness to your wandering. Other people suffer in the same way, and yet this seems to increase loneliness. But you can welcome despair like gravity, for at some point the sheer pressure, tectonic in the soma, compels a violent break in pattern: running through the woods, making love with an utter loss of self. The reality of your condition offers a stark gift you accept through sudden discharges of rage and rage’s joyful shadow: this is the only life you know, and it fills you to overflowing. You live your life, yoga happens to you.
You thought you were alone. You thought you were independent. Then, standing in the market with your hand on an orange, children underfoot, traffic humming, conversations blending with the radio by the cash register, shoes you did not make on your feet and clothes you did not sew on your back, sun slanting through the tin awning, you’re almost late for meeting someone, always almost too late. You know this orange will give you life, and you did not grow it. It will become your body: someone else gave it to you. Its colour adds immeasurably to your language and dreams while rhyming with nothing, and you did not conceive of it. The grocer’s hands became arthritic through a lifetime of handling boxes of oranges for you to eat. Someone else gives you your body. They could not give what they do not have. Someone else holds their body forth until it becomes your body.
This child triggers an internal laugh. A dog slaps her thick tail against your shin. Every single object that gives you life surrounds you. If you really were alone you would not exist. You did not make the air you breathe. You can’t say where the inside of your body begins. You are naturally reaching out as something reaches into you. No one and everyone taught you this. You surrender to the always-already-there, and yoga happens around you, through you.
Matthew Remski is an author, yoga and ayurvedic therapist and educator, and co-founder of Yoga Community Toronto. With Scott Petrie he is co-creator of yoga 2.0, a writing and community-building project.
yoga 2.0: shamanic echoes, is now available for kindle and other e-readers.