I enjoyed teaching yoga. It was only for a brief time, yet what it gave me I possess to this day; the ability to better read people and understand the body’s role in our spiritual journey.
Reading people isn’t easy. We aren’t like comic strips that can be scanned at a glance. It takes a good deal of knowledge to truly understand another; especially considering we don’t easily show our pages. Standing before a class teaching yoga pose after yoga pose and breath work on top of breath work allowed me to view people from a unique angle. Not all instructors do this. I have to imagine the greater part of me knew I needed this particular schooling, so although I was the instructor, I was also was brought there to learn.
What I learned, in part, was that we never can set aside our body. It travels with us wherever we go. Yet, it’s so often mistreated and overlooked. We take it for granted. However, not only is the body one of the primary filters by which energy moves through us it’s also part of the foundation upon which we stand. If you don’t understand what I mean, consider the times when you’ve tried to work or pray or carry on with friends while ill. Your foundation won’t hardly allow it.
Also, the workings of the human body provides us a beautiful metaphor that mirrors the workings of the soul: softening allows expansion. Rigidity hardens and constricts.
Time and time again I watched as a student dropped their mat quickly and pushed hard and fast into the stretch. My eyes would fall on them and I’d smile while telling the class that the muscle won’t respond well to force or quick movements; one must go slow and breathe into the stretch to get where you’re wanting to go; give it time and dedicated practice. And thus is true with the soul.
It’s my belief we are here, on this planet, for the purpose of expanding our soul, its wisdom, its level of compassion and its grace; none of which comes quickly, but all of which, when allowed, provides us a better foundation upon which to stand and a more open filter through which the energy of life can move through us.
Open. Soften. Breathe. This is the way of a healthy muscle. This is the way of a knowledgable mind, and this is the way of an expanded, wise soul.
You will feel when something causes you to instinctually harden. You know when your body goes tight. Sometimes through fear, sometimes through anger. If this is happening to your body, please know that your soul can not expand if the vessel its using to experience this life is hardened and constricted. This does not mean one has to be a yogi master. But one must have reverence for their body, and treat it well. Although the soul does not live within the confines of the body – it uses the body to move through this life experience. The two must be in alignment. Keep the body open, soft and flexible. The soul moves and expands more easily.
Those things for which we have reverence and treat with kindness tells a good deal about who we are, internally and externally. The ways in which we move through life are like sentences on a page: readable, and almost always revealing who we are on the inside, your personal story line. What we fear and what we hold with value. Where we’ve grown and where we’re currently being schooled.
So take care of your body. Stop ignoring it. It won’t go away. Life won’t go away. How you treat these things often reflects how you treat your inner being.