April 30, 2014

Rocking Socks & The Codependence of My Yoga Mat. ~ Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders

When I tried yoga in socks for the first time, it changed the value I place on my mat, forever.

Its reverence became a reference.

Collusion: Another word for codependence. Two diffusionary forces working together in an empathetic dissipation or accumulation of energy potential. Ensnaring someone, something or others into my need to disperse or absorb vitality, a conspiracy of dysfunction.

Try a Warrior pose in socks on a slippery floor and you might find just how unstable and ineffectual your mat allows you to be. I did.

The mat colludes with the inability or the challenge of holding a pose without assistance. In this case, the assistance (and collusion) is the friction provided by a mat.

The mat allowed me to believe I was self-sufficient.

Explore how your ability to move into and hold the pose changes. You will feel muscles fire in a completely new way. It will be uncomfortable, fear and doubt will pop up and try to get your attention. It will bring you into the moment.

Eliminating the collusion of my mat changed my perception of the movement. It fostered independence and self-responsibility. It increased my awareness.

Yoga in socks requires presence, a focus on a physical center, a Hara line, a summation of the Sushumna.

Summation: (physiology) The process by which multiple or repeated stimuli can produce a response in a nerve or muscle that one stimulus alone cannot produce.

When I did my first full sun salutation, slowly and carefully, in socks (hands and feet), I could track how I physically compensated and how my edge, the place where comfortable transitions to uncomfortable, changed. There were mental and emotional compensations too as fear and uncertainties were triggered. I invented stories and justifications but I could begin to feel the pose from the inside out.

I label myself a Jnana Yogi. This is Jnana Yoga. It is curiosity coupling with attention, climaxing in a direct, personal, experience. The value I gave my mat was fictional, based upon my images, beliefs and fears.

I started looking for circumstances where I was letting people or things in my environment collude with my weaknesses, linear biases and asymmetries.

Once I had a direct experience of rocking the socking, I could relate it to the feeling of being self-sufficient, in any and every pose. My core strengthened and movements became spherical instead of linear. The balancing of my body began to exist without a mat … or a teacher … or a studio and without something labeled as a practice.

My yoga mat kept me weaker and limited my growth. It pandered to my predispositions.

After this realization, I started replacing yoga mat with running shoes, sugar, relationships, caffeine, anger, demands and all of my other dysfunctionary tendencies, the peculiarities of my personality.

I began to gain an awareness of where I was codependent and whom I was allowing to collude with me. It was a long list that is gradually getting shorter.

I like socks.


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Apprentice Editor: Emily Bartran / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Courtesy of Author

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