The truth is not always so easy to see.
You can’t find the truth anywhere but in yourself.
These were the instructor’s words as we lay in pigeon pose the other night in yoga.
You can’t find it in a book, you can’t find it in your teacher, you can’t find it in anybody else.
I must admit his words brought me up short—if the truth is inside of me, then I want to know where exactly!
Yoga teaches that the body stores emotions and even past traumas. It has taken me a while to buy into this, but I have to admit that the practice does sometimes get emotional. So, maybe there is something to say about the truth literally residing somewhere in there.
But that would mean I’d have to believe there is actual anger in my quads, emotions in my hips and real love in my heart. And if that’s so, then what’s in my arms, my belly and my back?
If the truth is inside of me, why can’t I always access it?
I can see other people’s truths so clearly. As far back as I can remember, people have come to me for perspective, clarity and advice.
Most recently, I was reacquainted with a friend who stopped mid-sentence and said, Wait! Are you someone that other people come to and tell things to? That same week, another friend stopped mid-tears to ask if I had some kind of background in psychology (I don’t).
And in my office, I have a chair across from my desk that gets a lot of traffic. It’s called the trouble seat and is used by others who come in to unload and ask for advice. I knew you’d have the answer! one such visitor said.
How is it that I can so easily see someone else’s truth but not always my own?
Yoga ties the physical with the emotional by teaching about the Chakras, or energy centers, located along the spine. There are seven, and they spin in a wheel-like fashion if all is going well spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Supposedly, emotions can block the Chakras, and it’s the yoga poses, or asanas, that unblock them and get the energy flowing once more.
The Chakras are lined up like this:
1. The first Chakra, the Root Chakra, is located at the base of the spine and is tied to our most innate emotions like survival.
2. The second Chakra is the Sacral Chakra and is located under the belly button. It is tied to our desires for pleasure and well being.
3. The third Chakra is the Solar Plexus Charkra. It is located above the stomach and has to do with self esteem.
4. The fourth one is the Heart Chakra and is, of course, located at the center of the chest and is all about love.
5. The fifth is the Throat Chakra. It’s at the throat and is tied to communication and the truth.
6. The sixth Chakra is the Third Eye, located at the center of the forehead. It has to do with intuition.
7. The seventh Chakra, the Crown Chakra, is located at the top of the head and is connected to our spirituality.
If this is to be believed, then there is certainly a lot more going on in our bodies than just organs working and blood flowing.
But even with knowing all this, I still don’t know how “X” marks the spot when it comes to locating my truth. Mostly, I think I am pretty solid, but I know I can sometimes be thrown for a loop, by others or even myself.
Before yoga, I was so much more of a closed person. I don’t know how the practice opened me up, but somehow it did. Perhaps the poses really did get my wheels spinning.
And maybe, when I look to others or others look to me, we are really just on a quest for validation of what we already know to be true. Maybe good advice really is just helping each other see inside to the truth that’s already there.
If this is so, then I get it when the instructor says that no one has anyone else’s answers—the search for mine happens mostly on my mat and I don’t think it’s ending anytime soon.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise