Body Stories

Body Stories

belly art

 

(Amazing Painting by Deborah Randall. Her work can be found on deborahrandall.com)

On our yoga mat, personal stories emerge again and again. Stories that we have stored away in our deepest places in our bodies and psyches. According to the nature of yoga, we carry many of our stories in our bodies unread until we have grown the capacity and readiness to read them. When that happens, a physical and emotional release takes place often with newly found openings in our bodies accompanied by a river of tears.

In my own life, the story of myself as a creative being became a reoccuring theme. Thinking of myself as a maker of art had seemingly lied dormant in me since childhood. But not really. Many times as an adult I would hear my inner voice say that she would like to make art. But I had pushed this call for art aside as “frivolous”, “self-absorbed” and just plain “ridiculous.”

Fortunately as I continuously practiced my yoga and fully relaxed in shavasana day in and day out, I would literaaly see images that begged to be painted. I kept creating these mind paintings over and over again and I would feel in my body as if I was creating the art. I would feel an artistic longing over and over and eventually I came to know that I was a creative being whom need to express this visually. The more I “paused” and “listened”, the clearer my own story became.

As we practice, the more we listen and the clearer our stories become. Our true identity, who we are, why we are here, is what emerges in our story.

Our stories are not our outer achievements or what we have acquired or built over a life time. Our story is who we are and not what we have done. It is what we have faced, what we have drawn upon, what we have risked, thought, feared and discovered in the events of our lives. Our true stories are about sex and power, loss and betrayal, courage, faith, lonliness,disappointment, joy, loving and being loved.

Our stories tell our uniqueness.

So Ham, So Ham, “I am that I am.”

Our stories connect us and weave us all together.

Tat Vam Asi,-“I am that”

Jai,

The relationship we have with our bodies cannot be separated from all we believe about being alive, from the foundation on which every other thing in our lives is built; relationships with ourselves, with others, money, work, love, death. When the basic foundation is understood directly, living takes on a kind of effortlessness and grace. This kind of ease and knowing is available to everyone.

Let life be a journey. Start right where you are because there is nowhere else to start. Yoga allows us to transcend the world of appearances and shed light on what is happening beneath the surface. Everyday life is not apart from this process; it is actually part of it. Raising children, working, being angry, being sad, washing the dishes are all a part of it. We cannot separate who we are from the way we take care of and treat ourselves in our everyday lives.

Through yoga, I have learned that no feeling or situation is unworkable, not heartbreak, not grief, not disappointment, not sadness, not loneliness, not anger. Anything can be felt, sensed, worked through.

Through yoga, I have learned how to strengthen my body and make it more relaxed and open. I have learned how to sit comfortably and how to go upside down.

My overall posture is improved. My asthma that I have struggled with since I was a child is almost non-existent.

In addition to the physical, in yoga I have learned that beating myself up because I’m not perfect doesn’t work. Embracing the qualities of curiosity and openness make me much happier than control and fear. Yoga is not mental, not psychological, not emotional, yet is all of these and more. It is a bridge to your own guidance and presence.

Go to your yoga mat.  One taste of this direct knowing and nothing can ever be the same.