July 9, 2013

The Spider, the Fly, Yoga & Me. ~ Anne Samit

Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

A warning to the naïve: this phrase has twice been directed at me.

It references a poem by Mary Howitt published in 1829 about a naïve fly ensnared by a less than honest spider.

I have met some spiders in my time; but, I really never thought myself to be the fly.

Why, then, have I bumped up against these words more than once?

The first time, I had just finished walking down the wedding aisle and had arrived under the Chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy. Inside, waiting to greet us, stood the rabbi.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said softly, Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

Ten years later, I heard this phrase again.

I had just finished walking down the hall and had arrived at my meeting.

Inside, waiting to greet me, stood my divorce attorney.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said softly, Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

Coincidence? I think not!

Do any of us really ever consider ourselves naïve? Maybe in hindsight but, for me, in the moment, I usually think I know what’s going on. It’s only afterwards that I’m aware I might not have been so savvy.

I wonder where this greeting was when I signed up for yoga?

I had thought yoga was just exercise. I was surprised to find it was so much more, and now I think I am ensnared for life.

I had no idea that the practice would push at me, and I am far from savvy about the direction I am headed.

As a young adult, I had a certain naiveté of which I was unaware, an oxymoron in itself. I readily trusted, honestly believed and openly embraced. But some spiders since have taught me about the need for balance between trust and skepticism, between faith and cynicism.

You gotta have a little of each.

The other day, at the end of my yoga practice, the instructor gave a reading. We lay in our final resting pose of Savasana, the practice over.

The readings really work for me at this point because, for the moment, the practice erases all skepticism and cynicism. I lay there on my mat with only faith and trust.

And I feel good.

The reading spoke to the importance of opening our hearts to love, even if we have been hurt, even if it means being vulnerable.

Even if opening up our hearts and being vulnerable is what got us hurt in the first place.

This is all food for thought and sort of difficult to put into practice; it seems I equate vulnerability with naiveté and, for me, there seems to be a challenge in how to avoid the fate of the fly when opening the heart.

For some reason, I think yoga is teaching me how to do this. And, even though I have been writing on the subject for awhile, it’s hard to find the words to explain.

I just know to keep going back to the mat.

It’s not just that I want to practice; it’s that I have to practice. 

There is something about it that pulls me closer to myself and that, I think, is what may ultimately make it safe to be anywhere’s near vulnerable again.

At one point, I had a private lesson where the instructor was running me through the poses. I was in Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose, tilted to the side with one arm to the floor and the other to the sky.

I pushed my lower ribs forward and pulled my top ribs back, tilting toward the ceiling.

You have a very open heart, said the instructor.

This was news to me, but I was on my mat with not a web in sight.

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Bryonie Wise

Read 4 Comments and Reply

Read 4 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Anne Samit  |  Contribution: 7,020