Between the Knowing and Not-Knowing

“He who thinks he knows, doesn't know. He who knows that he doesn't know, knows.”

― Joseph Campbell

 In yoga, whether teacher or student, we seek to know and also not know.

We straddle the line of wanting to learn and apply our selves to understanding our beings and the yoga more fully. At the same time, we practice being in the space of pure presence, openness, inquiry and the constant newness of our experience.

It’s important to balance these.

If we assume we already know how to make our feet parallel, for example, we might not pay so much attention to how we place our feet on the floor. In doing so we bypass the opportunity to remember what we’ve learned, to clarify the work of the feet, to explore the subtleties of adjusting and observe how shifts impact the rest of the body. Practice becomes rote and formulaic. We don’t go deeper.

On the other hand, if we insist on not knowing and not remembering what we’ve learned, we never get beyond making our feet parallel. We aren’t able to build on our understanding.

Attentiveness, curiosity, humility, honesty, openness, integrity and thoughtfulness are some hallmarks of the person who is able to take ownership of what they know while always seeking to get better at what they do.