Last week, I wrote about the shift that happens when we focus on how we are being rather than just what we’re doing. Nowhere is this more apparent, and important, than in asana practice.
Consider Child's pose. Physically, it’s a pose where you sit on your heels with the big toes together and knees apart, fold your torso forward over your legs and rest your forehead on the floor. That’s how you do the pose. But none of that describes the many ways to be in this pose. It’s a pranam, the classic posture of reverence in the Indian tradition. This is often how I practice it, infusing the form of bowing with the inner feeling of giving thanks and honoring all I’ve received as a student.
This week, that same pose took on a whole different energy for me. It became a pose of offering that same reverence and gratitude to myself, turning that sense of honoring inward. I needed a visceral reminder of what has always been my goal for this practice - to fully and wholly love and honor myself as I am. I used my asana practice to do it.
Indeed, as we progress on the path, we recognize that yoga is so much less about what we do and so much more about how we do it. Likewise, true self-love is not primarily in the things we do in the name of "self care," but in the interior environment we create that gives rise to those self-compassionate actions, don't you think?
It doesn't have to be Child's pose, of course. It doesn't need to be any asana. It can be the tenderness found in the breath, in softening our shoulders. Anything that stokes the remembrance of being kind to ourselves, of giving ourselves a break.
How will you adopt to inner posture of love and self-honoring today?
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