A simple posture can be radically transformed with a simple cue, a shift of body or mind. Something that felt so easy or quiet, suddenly becomes full of sensation or noise.
We often use analogies in class to offer a new way of seeing or feeling into a pose. And the most nourishing moments occur when people offer feedback from their experience.
It’s so interesting how different perspectives shade each of our experiences.
And how different experiences shade each of our perspectives.
No two people ever feel or see a posture or practice the same way. Which reminds us of a teaching (and we paraphrase here);
Two people enter the same room.
Yet each enter a different room.
Perspective is everything.
How we choose to view a room, a container or a landscape depends on the experience we take there.
What we choose to see, to focus our attention on, to be drawn in to, is all shaded by our experience.
Not just the experience of the hours or day before, but by the months and years that precede.
To be drawn into a new perspective or experience can open a whole new world of sensation.
To look upon things in a new way, can radically alter the way we move through the world.
And when we start to understand that it’s our perspective and experience that interchangeably create our lives, that’s when everything shifts.
From searching to found.
We used to be thrill seekers of an external kind. We’d explore poses as we did our relationships, homes, jobs and experiences; like wild fire. Our desire for more meant a faster pace of life. We’d be onto our next high as soon as the previous exploration was near over.
Yet after years of Yoga, we came to understand there is no sense of accomplishment or fulfilment in gaining experience externally. Or quickly.
That’s just surface living; like walking on a warm beach with shoes to feet. It misses the experience of feeling everything that moment has to offer.
Experience only creates sustained fulfilment if it is fully felt, experienced and acknowledged deeply.
Through all the layers.
Recently in Cornwall we did numerous 12-mile hikes along the coast barefoot. People we passed would constantly remark we were crazy (these lands are not smooth; they are jagged, uneven and sharp in spaces) for both being barefoot. At first, the stones and rocky precipice caused our feet a lot of pain and we barely noticed the sights at Bedruthan or the seven bays. But, with time our perspective shifted.
As we stood and watched the wide expanse of ocean and the landscape shift, we were open to new ways of being. We forgot our feet and instead learnt to use them to shape and cling around the jagged edges.
Sounds so innocent. But it was totally soul affirming. And nourishing on all levels.
And as our feet opened up and remembered their natural instinct, our ability to see and feel into the surrounding space shifted. We had deep conversation with ourselves and eachother.
We’ve spoken here of the limitations of language (or labels) before. And here is an example of when words can’t adequately explain the notion.
Maybe if we were Innuit and spoke a language of nature, with fifty words for snow, then we could shade the experience so it could be understood by words.
Or maybe you can shift your perspective and see the same room. But with a different view.
Open eyes, mind and open heart.