During the 3 days Yoga Workshop I attended last weekend, Angela Farmer and her hubby Viktor van Kooten created a space of self-discovery and gently guided us to discover, discover and discover more! Viktor cracked me up when he said: ‘Curiosity kills the cat but it also makes a yogi!’. I did take many notes, pages and pages of it and there are many postures I’ll never look at, feel or teach in the same way!
It is amazing how one pose can be so different each time. How, each time we perform the same pose, it gives us a chance to find different old habits, tensions and understandings and also, the opportunity to release them. What we call a Downward Dog is never the same, just like the Ganges or the Nile rivers are never the same. What flows in them is always changing. In Downward Dog, we can be more in our hands, more in our legs, more in our outer hands, more in our inner legs, we can be heavy in our shoulders, light in our pelvis or vice versa. Can a photograph show any of that?
A few times, Angela made a point – when referring to photos of yoga poses in books – that really resonated with me. She asked the rhetorical question: At what point during the pose, are these yoga photos taken?
In other words, when is the posture ever complete? When have you arrived at your destination? It made me realize the importance of keeping a posture alive. Not letting it die when we have ‘reached’ what we think the posture should look like. There is no reaching anywhere. It is continuous unfolding, a continuous expansion. In fact, if the expansion stops and the inner growing diminishes, we’ve probably gone too far or are relying too much on muscular strength / will power. I understood, ever more deeply, through my flesh and blood (literally), that we are much more than flesh and blood. Life, the Energy of life, flows through us like a river that supports the flesh and holds us wherever we are. It is that river of energy that we want to tap into in each yoga posture and keep on opening eternally to its flow. It will wash, cleanse, heal, nourish… all that has been left unloved, un-cared for and ignored! It may look like we’re striking a pose, while inside, the pose is opening to infinity, breath by breath. We’re using our curiosity to help the river flow in the darkest, least frequented places.
When is a yoga pose complete? Never! It never stops…Just like Life! To complete it, would be to stay in our small self, the ego…To open to it, we become one with Life…infinite energy unfolding!
Phew…That needed to come out of my system! Happy yogaing everyone!
Thank you and Angela and Viktor for all your inner and outer work! 🙂