Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Multifaceted Yoga

“As a well cut diamond has many facets, each reflecting a different colour of light, so does the word yoga, each facet reflecting a different shade of meaning and revealing different aspects of the entire range of human endeavor to win inner peace and happiness.”
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, fifth paragraph of the Introduction.

Yoga can mean different things to different people, and different things to the same person at different times. It might be a workout, a way to de-stress, discipline, medication for an ailment, physical therapy, emotional healing, refuge, support for change, community, a psychic portal, etc.

One day a student of mine shared that she wanted to find her keys, when I had asked what she might like to get out of that day’s session. When I replied with a questioning look, she said, “Seriously, that’s what I’d like. They’ve been lost for two days and it’s very embarrassing.”

I said that I couldn’t promise anything, obviously… But I also left it open that it might come to her doing class. I could see that she was not grounded, the breath was shallow, and the mind was a-buzzing. There was a little stress around the eyes—a worried look. So our session included some quieting poses, held long enough to have a deep effect. There was a good amount of focusing on the breath, going inward, relaxing, and letting go.

At the end of the class I asked how she was doing and she said, “I think I know where they are.” And I got a call in under an hour after she had left saying that she had found them. Incredible, right? Out of a surprising request came a satisfying outcome.

What allowed me to go into this situation with an open mind was my belief that the answer was inside her, but it was somehow clouded by anxiousness and distraction. So I thought that perhaps if she could get quite inside that the answer would reveal itself to her.

When we quiet down the treasury inside is without bounds. We only have to ask the right question to discover what we need. It could be finding a lost object, or finding the solution to a life concern. The best answers come from inside your self. And the best friends help you to see that.


Kaivalya said...

Love that photo! The story is amazing too. We humans are such intensely physical beings and so often, our bodies get in the way of our innate wisdom. Yoga is one way (but not the only way) of stripping away our tensions and blocks and getting to the heart of things. Glad she found her keys!

RB said...

This is a great post--so true. So often worry, stress and frenzy keep us from tacking the problem in a productive manner.

Once my teacher said to us, "while you're in yoga or meditating, think about what it would feel like if you just didn't worry about an aspect of your life for an hour. How much of a difference is the worry making in solving the problem." You've demonstrated that NOT worrying can solve a problem. Cool!

Victoria said...

It amazes me how often I read something that was exactly what I needed to read. Love the story and the little reminder to de-stress!