Yoga as Survival
Our human life expects so much of us. All these tender layers of self, moving through a vast, complex world. And especially now, when we have had little time to evolve to cope with the pace, technological stimulation, societal structures, expectations, and chemical environment of our modern world; when so much has changed in the last 100 years, and yet we are born into life with the same skill set as centuries prior…. how do flourish, how do we survive?
One of our main survival techniques as humans (soft, fleshy, humans…) is our ability to adapt. We can shift and change to be able to function when confronted by a plethora of different challenges. Adaptability has its problems, of course, when we give up our center to allow something else to affect our energy, our experience. Yet claiming this ability to shift and bend to meet the challenges of our world is a dynamic skill.
The practice of yoga gives us the opportunity to adapt in ways so that we do not have to lose our essential aspects of humaness. Our tenderness, our subtle intelligence, our ability to heal and integrate, and to really love… these are crucial aspects of our ability to be fully awake and alive. The asana we practice, which re-calibrates the nervous system, cleanses and revitalizes the organs and blood, quiets the sympathetic response and habituated tension patterns, stabilizes the structure of our bodies and matrix of our minds… this practice truly allows us to relate and thrive in this wild, contemporary world. We can be engaged in our lives, fully, and through our practice replenish our inner reservoirs again and again. Staying connected to our center, our place of power, through the many changes and challenges we face.
Of course, we stray, we have moments and even chunks of time when the storms are passing through us, the screen time and caffeine and competition takes its toll, our emotions run amuck, our vrritis become tsunamis of fluctuation… and then we come back. We re-establish what the boundaries are, the containers, for ourselves in this world. We fine tune our alignment, and reprogram the pathways of prana. We take time to feel what is really there. And through the practice of yoga, breath by breath, day by day, we rekindle that balance of being engaged in the world, and centered within ourselves.