In yoga the positions are each called “Something”-asana. Asana meaning pose or posture.
Your feet go here and your hands there and your heart lifts or your finger interlace or any infinite number of bodily configurations. The poses stretch the muscles and fascia, squeeze glands and organs, strengthen the body, build endurance, balance and equanimity. You focus on your breath and keep the mind in the moment.
Then more and more difficult asanas? Foot behind the head? (By the way, I can’t do that.) Flip your down dog to a backbend? (Workin’ on it.) Handstand? (Not there yet.)
Perhaps. We do want go to the edge of our comfort zone, to the place where growth occurs. So when the edge moves, we move.
Another option is to stay in the poses we have. Stay in them longer. Or do them again, over and over. To allow the body’s knowing to take over that part, to do the poses by rote. And to take the mind, the attention, the awareness outside the comfort zone.
See what you meet there, at that edge.
It starts by turning attention within and feeling. At first you might find discomfort or boredom. Who else? Anxiety? Anger? Sadness? What sensation? What body part that has been seeking your attention is suddenly audible?
Can you be with them all? Hold all of that in gentleness? Accept your whole self as you are on the mat at that moment?
The first time you go there, tears may flow – tears of reunion, of Yoga. Self-acceptance can feel like getting a hug from your beloved after months or years apart.
I call this Beyondasana.
Let’s go there.
Beyond the physical and the positioning. Into the experience of Self. Witnessing the miracle that is the body, the breath, the emotions and sensations. Finding ourselves as the Loving Awareness in which this is all unfolding.
We are beyond our bodies.
We are beyond our thoughts.
We are beyond the fluctuations of emotions that swell and recede.
We are beyond what has happened to us, what we have or have not accomplished, and all of our well-meaning plans for the future.
We start to encounter that Self while we wait patiently in a pose. It can be the simplest of poses. Sitting comfortably is the only pose mentioned in the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, the ancient text and practices from which many of our modern yoga lineages stem. Or we can find the Self in a familiar flow on repeat.
After going within and feeling, it’s a relaxing and expanding of the mind and the perspective. Pan out. Notice the goings on within and outside of you as one unified field.
Then notice Who Is Noticing.
When you awaken this Love, please bring it to the world.