Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Your Body's a Wonderland

Have you ever heard this saying?
"We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience."

I'm not sure exactly what that means. But it might mean that our ordinary lives aren't just peppered every now and then with extraordinary, unexplainable events. Rather, our lives are larger and more enduring than we typically imagine, and our embodied time here on earth is simply a brief segment designed to teach particular lessons.

My little pea-sized brain got to swirlin' around like that this morning when I was driving to school with my daughter. We were listening to her radio station, not mine. And amongst the lyrics I could not understand, I heard John Mayer sing one line I heard clearly, "your body's a wonderland."

I'm quite sure he was singing about something other than what I had in mind (I read the lyrics later), but it's a beautiful song and a beautiful line, regardless. And there's a wonderful thought that could be behind it...your body is a wonderland!

What would you do in a wonderland? Explore!

That's my yoga tip for today. Explore. Get down on the floor and explore. Don't go there to 'get the pose right.' Don't go there trying to apply some technique to avoid hurting yourself. Don't go there for a workout. Just move, breathe, pay attention, and see what happens. Observe. Watch. Listen. Pay attention. Like John, you might fall in love with your body.

There's a difference between studying yoga and doing yoga. Studying yoga is like asking a tour guide to show you where all the 'best spots' are in a foreign town, and how to get there. Doing yoga is the unique experience that only you can have on your journey; the tour guide can't do it for you.

For many, studying yoga is as far as they get, I believe, because they've felt pain. After that they're afraid of injury. They never explore on their own. They always stick close to the guide. And they ask questions like, "Should it hurt my calf when I do this?" Or, "I don't feel anything; am I doing it wrong?"

People who study yoga but don't do yoga tell me they can't remember everything they've been taught, so they're afraid to try yoga at home.

Try it. Please. Try it. Relish in it.

When you do yoga, you stop hearing the voice of your teacher guiding you in a particular direction. When you do yoga, you hear the still, small voice of Wisdom.

By the way, I found at least one thing in Mayer's lyrics I really like. He said,
Take all your big plans,
And break 'em.
This is bound to be a while.

Your body's a wonderland.

It's going to take a while to fully explore your physical wonderland. So take your time. And while you're at it today, ask yourself this question, "Why do I have a body?" "If I am a spiritual being, why do I need a body?"

I'll talk more about it tomorrow.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved by Mo Yoga LLC.


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