I came to yoga through injury and a desire to heal.
I’m afraid that I brought my male, “fight club” mentality with me.
There was initial healing, and then other injuries as I jammed myself into some of the poses.
Vanity demanded I power through the sequences.
Intellectually I understood I was fighting myself. Energetically I was a prisoner of a lifetime of masculine ego that compelled grasping outside myself for an elusive goal.
I justified the grasping by calling it yang energy.
I had the same experience with years of free weights and some martial training. This has been my process since the days of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.”
It has been said that, “Pain is a great motivator.” I stand before you a motivated man.
This morning I got on the mat after centering prayer and sitting meditation.
I grounded myself in ujayi and began.
I had set my intention to surf the breath and extended, rather than jam, for my edge.
Energy began to flow up and down…in and out.
Each oxygenated cell rushed through a Darth Vader bellow.
After some initial popping, my spine began to snake through the poses.
In pigeon I squeezed narrow, bound-up hips in mulabanda then released into a place I had not been before.
My “mind” was a kaleidoscope as I called silently into the ether, “Come to me…come to me.”
My body oozed through space and time, flowing…sometimes slow…sometimes with power beyond tension into a cascading wave that came to rest in savasana.
I lay there in the breaking dawn, full of hope for healing as I dissolved into golden light.
Through yoga, I have begun to baby-step my way towards humility, beyond my need to be admired or my fearful grasping for power.
Just for today, I was able to melt into the underground stream that runs through all of us that some call love.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Emma Ruffin/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Alexandre Huang/Flickr