Getting Comfortable with ParadoxJun 15, 2022
In my recent “Body is the Vessel” workshop, I got to revisit the fascinating paradox at the heart of yogic practice - the notion that we are embodied spirits.
We have a finite life, a body, an individual identity with its personality and preferences. At the very same time, the tradition teaches, we also have a mystical, sublime, and ultimately infinite essence.
Yogic wisdom, therefore, is also always paradoxical because it reflects this dual perspective on human existence. Like the swing of a pendulum, yoga invites us to dance with the polarities of body and spirit, fleeting and eternal, everchanging and constant.
As long as we are alive, the essential paradox of being an “embodied spirit” might never fully be resolved. And that’s okay. In yoga we are asked to get comfortable with it and even celebrate it.
Yoga is a path where we use the mundane to touch the sacred. We employ the mind and body to nurture an experience that is beyond both mind and body. Intriguing, isn’t it?
I think that one of the most unique skills we develop as yogis is the ability to hold and traverse the polarities of our existence as embodied spirits, as both individual beings and universal awareness.
It's one of the reasons why posture practice is especially potent. Through it, we have the opportunity to actually embody spirit, to cultivate the transcendent within our very flesh and bones.