A willingness to meet things head on

 In Asana, Uncategorized

A Willingness to Meet Things Head on….

I love in asana the inner relationship to the body’s position. The body produces sensations to which the mind reacts.  While some sensations are pleasant some are not, and our responses to these are of interest to me.

Some friends of mine love to practice within the realm of intensity.  They take the stretch to the ‘burn’ and stay there with breath, awareness and determination.  They find that ‘edges’ or capacities can be nudged in so much as whatever the mind has determined to be enough can also be seen to be changeable.  They seem to have an attitude that they are willing to face a little discomfort for a greater good.  Increased strength, or a deeper stretch or moving beyond our own determined capacities to greater endurance or lightness in the asana.

I sometimes use this approach, and have also found it useful, but tend to live more often in an approach where the ‘initial edge’ is offered to the body, followed by a listening approach to see how the body reacts to the input.  It feels gentler, and the opening on the tissue level in a subtler way.

To my mind it begs a deeper question as to ‘what are you actually looking for and why?’ as I feel this will influence deeply the actual energy that we approach asana with.

Sometimes I am looking to develop strength, to build a stronger body, and the nature of the practice is very different from when I want depth and a clear awareness of the stillness within.

Regardless of the approach though, what I am hoping to highlight here is bringing forth an attitude in practice where we are willing to meet the experience head on.  We may all be able to find an asana where we experience a ‘dislike’ ‘distaste’ or a general ‘no thanks.’  And perhaps the asana is either then avoided, done half-heartedly or ‘grinned and bear it’ until the next one.

The willingness to look is an amazing quality… I feel it’s a long way away from the need for analysis. “ Why don’t I” and trying to work it out in the mind.  I feel the willingness to look is a maturity that doesn’t contain the ‘need to change the experience, get rid of it or work it out.’ It’s a vibrant aliveness, a presence of mind that from a place of no need, is willing to meet and experience what ever arises – things held in the body, a variety of feelings and emotions, resistances, negative and positive self images, memories and sensations.