Tuesday, June 9, 2009

sensation yoga

if I keep this up, I may have to change the name of this web-log to the tao of yoga.
but today was yoga morning, and thus yoga is on my mind. and when I remember, in my breath as well.
this morning, our tuesday gal was sick so the thursday gal substituted, which is always okay with me.
the thursday gal talks almost constantly throughout class, gently guiding and reminding us throughout all the movements and positions of how we are to be working with our body and our breath. occasionally she will pause, telling us to hold the asana for five more breaths, then she will resume when it is time to move again. she speaks in calm and soothing voice as she guides us through the asanas and suggests minor modifications that will improve the position of our bodies.
a word she frequently uses is sensation.
as in, breathe as you move through the sensation . . .
sensation is her code word for pain.

I'm trying to incorporate this into the rest of my existence:
my back doesn't hurt early in the morning when I'm first waking; I'm just experiencing a sensation.
those shrieking muscles when I climb a steep hill are really just moving through a sensation, not preparing to completely fail on me.
when my knees/back/hips/shoulders are talking loudly to me, telling me they are tired of what I'm doing and would like some rest, I just talk back to them, telling them they are just experiencing a sensation and they should settle into it gracefully.


this is a good word, actually, for expanding one's mind. it helps one to consider all aspects of the situation: sensation tends to incorporate more than just the narrow focus of, say, pain. sensation can also include the tingling, the stretch, the breath, the working together of different body parts in efforts to lengthen and extend one's reach. it includes the touch of the air swirling around the skin, the sounds that move through the auditory canal, and the aromas that tickle their way through the olfactory nerves. it's the millions of particles of light that move together to present a visual story around us, and the reality of fellow bodies beside us.
sensation encompasses all of this, and is becoming the word I choose now instead of the word pain.
from now on, I will acknowledge the myriad different sensations my body experiences, and I will remember to think of yoga, which has taught me that there is more to every encounter, experience, and asana than simply meets the eye.
or ear.
or nose.
or muscle.
it is up to me to undertake the process of amalgamating all of these into one unique, amazing, unrepeatable experience, one inexplicably perfect sensation.

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