On the Mat: Transparency

Uncategorized Sep 09, 2018

“Yoga is all of the stuff you don’t see.”

  --David Williams 


When we feel lost, we no longer recognize our surroundings or feel a connection to those around us. This is a process that begins with an internal connection loss via an unwillingness to know what we feel. This ignorance accumulates when we look to others to define or manage what we feel. Most people operate under a bias that overestimates how obvious our thoughts and emotions are to others. We forget that others do not have the same access to our emotions and thoughts as we do. Instead of seeking clarity, it is easier to shut down any further communication and expression. When we do not express what we are feeling we create the chasm between expectation and understanding. In our daily lives, we expect others to meet us where we are emotionally even when we are not aware of where we are emotionally. This is the expectation that snags the thread of all relationships. Our practice on the mat is the practice of embodying our consciousness. In the yoga asana, sensation is the doorway to transparency. Feeling sensation in a pose is an indication that your consciousness and form have arrived in one place.  In the physical practice, we can numb sensation in two ways. One, we resist feeling sensation of any kind by not trying at all or hard enough. Second, we may push too hard towards the end-goal of making a shape, and miss the feedback that sensation provides. Both are simply the avoidance of feeling. How can we ask another to understand what we feel when we avoid approaching that place ourselves? This week on the mat, stop your avoidance game. Feeling physical and emotional sensation is vital feedback and the only way we know which direction to turn and how to grow. Working with what arises is the only way to meet ourselves and be met by another. Compassion awakens under the subtle call of willingness. When we draw sensation out of the depths of the body, we see it fully for what it is–a compass that illuminates in our awareness so we can be found.


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