I started taking dance when I was 3, almost turning 4. Dance was such a large part of my life for many years. I loved movement set to music, the creativity of putting together steps to convey emotions. Yet, my dance studio was not a school of performing arts. We put together numbers for the recital at the end of the year, and while I loved my dance teachers, we were limited as to how we could perform and what we could perform. That's to say, while our numbers dazzled and our songs were cutesy, as I got older I felt incredibly limited in the creativity and what I could express in this environment. I would have loved to have danced in a more "serious" forum, where dance could really express human emotion, not just be girls in sequins doing faute turns to Britney Spears songs. But I was already too tall, not skinny enough to really pursue dance seriously. And I'm grateful at this point because I probably would have had an eating disorder. I never could really accept my body until I stopped dancing.
Fast forward to college, it was mostly logical that I would naturally enjoy things like pilates and yoga, as they are closely related to dance. But I realized that, specifically, yoga was more about how I felt on the inside as opposed to how I looked on the outside. While people become physically fit in yoga, no one is ever turned away for being too tall, too short, too fat, etc.
But, my approach to yoga, sadly, felt a lot like how I had learned over many years to approach dance. I focused on flexibility, alignment, moving to the music, even feeling the music. In many ways it became mechanical. While the endorphins that yoga caused my body to release gave me an overall sense of well-being which elevated my mood, my transformation stopped there. It was something new, something exciting. It felt good to be in my body again.
Then, life got hectic, and it was easy to abandon my practice. I longed to get back on the mat, fearing I was losing my stamina, fearing that I had lost all my upper-body strength. But it was easy to abandon it for me, because I wasn't really "in" it.
I got back on the mat last Monday. I know that beginning again after the new year is a cliché, but if that gets me back on the mat, then so be it. But somehow, this time, things are different.
All of my explorations as of late, into empathy, into dreams, into abstract matters which I don't conscientiously explore on a day-to-day basis has gotten me doing a ton of reading. And suddenly things seem to be coming together in weird ways.
I found out that this has a term, it's called synchronicity. It's when sometimes life is just little puzzle pieces fitting into a big picture. It's the realization that everything, however random it might seem, happens for a reason. It's sounds so cheesy, but when you can step back from things and see how it's all flowing together, for me, at least, it gives me a sense of continuity, of security.
But back to the yoga. Since going back to yoga this week, it seems to have fit together in ways I never understood, with other aspects of my life. Since exploring empathy, since exploring psychic tendencies that everyday people experience, I have begun to realize that these are things that are all related.
Yoga, before the physical postures and the flexibility, has to do with something much deeper. While I understood the concept of "prana" I never realized that this is the same energy that we sense in other people. I knew about chakras, but I had no idea that so-called "auras" correspond to the chakras. For me, I couldn't associate the physical and the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. I simply couldn't wrap my mind around it.
Yes, when doing yoga, I felt sensations. My body felt good. But when people talked about being "centered" I automatically associated that with simply centering my "balance" but didn't let that balance reach into my interior of exterior surroundings.
I went to a fascinating yoga class called "Hatha and Meditation" where we did some postures, then completed meditation and relaxation exercises. We focused on the "root" chakra, and in the upcoming classes we'll explore the rest. Later, I started reading the book, "The Psychic Energy Codex: A Manual For Developing Your Subtle Senses" by Michelle Belanger, which really allowed me to put the two together. We are physical, but we are also energy.
My grasp on this, until recently was so western. I couldn't fit together the parts. Physical. Energy. Body. Spirit.
I don't know why it was so hard to grasp, it seems so simple.
These realizations have allowed me to have some really fascinating conversations with Oscar. He's such a wise person, with a real penchant for things like philosophy and physics, and I feel like these things have allowed me to connect with him on such a deeper level. Last night we went to the yoga class together, and he found it to be really interesting.
Yesterday, I left for yoga thinking, "I'm really in need of a teacher." Maybe I just felt so lost and so disconnected from everything. As an agnostic, I don't really have a spiritual grounding in my life. I knew it was lacking, but like my experience as a dancer, I just didn't have the place for it to fit.
I think I'm finally taking the steps I'm supposed to, and in a way I've found what I was missing.
One Second Every Day
10 hours ago