Blog » Blessed Are The Flexible ....
Blessed Are The Flexible ....
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape, as the saying goes!
One of my favorite childhood idols was and still is Gumby. Some yogi’s have Dancing Shiva in their sacred space…I have Gumby (and Dancing Shiva!). My memories of Gumby are that of this little clay green dude being bendable in pretty much any contortionistic manner. However, my more recent years have pointed me toward the profound value in being able to build and maintain a flexible and open mind, not just a bendy body.
The open, non-judgemental nature of yoga and its philosophical teachings, appeal to my desire to hold sacred space for all beings and to truly appreciate what their experience must be. I can still hear my mother echo….”until you’ve walked a mile..”. There has been a trend for yoga to be viewed in more of a physical realm than a spiritual one. As I often share with my fellow students, I wish that the “industry” would place an equal emphasis on all of the eight limbs of yoga, and especially on those of the Yamas and Niyamas. I feel this is where true growth, flexibility and openness are nurtured. We often place too much emphasis on the asanas (poses) and the physical flexibility, whereas the most profound and beneficial growth may occur in the human spirit. We need to worry less about touching our toes and more about touching our heart.
Wouldn’t it be great to truly understand the basic philosophical teachings of yoga first, and then step on a mat a couple of years down the road? As my brother often says, maybe we got it bass akward! I feel the more common “process” of yoga is just that…we start on the mat and eventually the true nature of yoga…the yamas and niyamas sneaks in sideways, when we least expect it. Sometimes it sneaks in right at savasana time. As we lie on our mat, trying to understand the emotion we are experiencing, we realize the enormity of this path, and how yoga and life are not an achievement, but a journey. And in the darkness of that studio, we realize it takes being on your back in silence, to understand that the most important pose does not put us in touch with our feet but with our true selves.
Namaste sisters and brothers.
For a great article on the Yamas and Niyamas, visit: