Sunday, April 26, 2009

81/115 -Becoming Yourself

Saturday off.

My joints hurt.  Mostly my knees, but if I focused my attention anywhere else, it hurt there as well.  That pretty well explains Friday's killer class.  I'm going to give another try this afternoon, but I'm going in with the goal of a person on their very first day:   just stay in the room.

The Day 114 Meditation is about how yoga teaches us to become ourselves.  In some ways, the whole idea of "finding you  rself" is about the most trite cliche to come out of the new agey kimd of spirituality, so I balk at the idea of even approaching it.  B.K.S. Iyengar talks about having faith in yourself and in your ability to improve.  I like that idea much better.

The meditation then comes to the idea of following your heart.  Again, I think this idea is a bit dicey, but this one hits much closer to home.  Take a very simple thing like I was talking about yesterday:  you get to Triangle pose and feel wiped out.  Part of you is saying you've had it and you need to take a knee.  Part of you is saying not to be a wimp.  What to do?  Is the answer: "Follow your heart"?

Maybe yoga teaches us to follow our hearts, our instinct, in just this kind of situation.  And by gradually learning to exercise that capacity, it can then extend to areas off the mat.  Maybe just that silly situation is one of the reasons that yoga has such a spiritual effect off of the mat.

The troubling thing is how you are ever to know that you are following your heart, and not just making the sort of mistakes that arise from ignorance.  Here, I think the call for certainty, or at least certainty all the time, is a mistake.  Sometimes you will just know.  Other times, you try to be honest with yourself and do the best you can.  

The important point is the one that Gates puts so beautifully in the last line of the meditation:  "Grace begins when we dare to allow our prayers to be answered."  I can't improve on that thought and I'm not even going to try. 

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