For four months this past winter and spring, I spent every weekend at a yoga studio, with 13 other people, learning about asana, anatomy and the spiritual philosophy of yoga. Now I have an entire shelf of texts to refer to, rediscover, and further explore; a binder of hand outs and class notes; and a daily practice informed by those 4 months. (oh, I also have a reason to get up at 5:30 am twice a week). Throughout my notes, I also have a scattered collection of bits of things teachers said in class that struck me--some are insightful, some are hilarious ("fart noises are funny"). Included in this was the inspiration for this month's Keep Writing postcard.
Tara Sullivan shared these words from her teachers: you are a spiritual being having a human experience. not the other way around. As someone who grew up in culture of lapsed Catholicism (we went to mass on weekend, holidays and following my parents' divorce, I have some heavy skepticism to deal with concerning religion, But it is very difficult to explore deeper meaning and history and approaches in yoga without discussion spirituality. In the way that Jesus may be studied as a historical figure, one can look at the yogic texts and culturally informative. But something in Tara's words resonated with me. They were not about a God or a religion but the idea that we are more than the sum of our skin and bones. That the light and electricity and love and magic inside of us are important and relevant. Our bodies carry us to each experience, and even in my most narrow anti-catholic views, I still was open to the idea that we are more than cells.
Am I finding god? I am not finding a religion, more that I am finding the words that make sense of things I have felt. It is fascinating to me, the ways we view our physical existence and all its possibilities.
Now that I have graduated my training and am a teacher, I want to bring some of my ideas to my practice. Which might mean more yoga-inspired postcards for you. And maybe I will start talking about it in class. It turns out that I am not the only one who wants to contemplate this idea a little longer, it is the focus for the month of May for Jivimukti teachers such as Tara. This is the teaching that inspired Tara who inspired me. I guess it is all coming around now.
Take care, y'all.