Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Inner Thoughts of a Yogi

"Only when you're empty are you full"

I had an epiphany after yesterday's yoga class. I had my eyes closed during sivasana (aka corpse pose - a still, resting position lying flat on the ground), with my attention focused internally - physical sensations, thought patterns, stuff. The instruction upon moving into the next posture was to slowly open my eyes while maintaining inward focus. This spoke volumes...

I've been thinking lately about a friend who isn't dating anyone right now because he thinks he needs to be alone to figure stuff out before he enters a relationship. I've told myself that a million times, too. Another friend has crossed my mind lately because she's planning to leave the country for an indefinite period of time - she says she needs to go find herself... another familiar scene.

The problem I run into each time I play this "being single" game or I play the escapism card, is that I'm not really sure I'll ever have myself figured out. Aren't I always a work in progress? Aren't we all?

Maybe it isn't about being single or moving away but it's about learning to focus inward, under any cirumstance. Being single can help, living far away can help, not drinking or partying so much can help, but at the end of the day all any of us are really trying to do is create the quiet and space we need to hear our own selves. To hear our gut instincts, our intuitive thoughts. Isn't that what we're listening for when we take time to "figure some stuff out?"

So when I slowly opened my eyes in class and started to move into the next posture I found it hard to keep my mind focused internally. I was so distracted by everything around me - the people, their clothes, their abilities, their disabilities, etc... and so maybe that's just it right there. Maybe this path we call yoga, or in the bigger picture this journey we call life, is really all about finding that balance - how to be in relationships and hold on to ourselves, how to travel the world and maintain our values, and, at best, how to open our eyes and maintain inward focus.