I love yoga for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is because the things my yoga instructor says in class make so much sense despite the fact that to an outsider a phrase maybe be completely nonsensical. Huh?
Let me demonstrate…
“The getting it is in the already-ness.”
Vish said this in class yesterday, and it made so much sense to me that I wanted to run home immediately and write a post about the statement and what it means. As I kept contemplating it (and came up with a way in my head not to forget the phrase — because that happens much of the time), I realized that it really wouldn’t make any sense at all to anyone reading it without a lot of contextual explanation (and even then it could be a stretch).
Let me start at the beginning…
There are two different extremes in body types for the purpose of yoga—ones who mainly have muscular energy and ones who have mainly organic energy. One is not better than the other—you need both in yoga. Unfortunately, we don’t always naturally have the balance to access both when needed.
My friend Petra and I joke that if we combined ourselves we would have the perfect yogic body. I am 99% muscular and she is 99% organic. This doesn’t mean she isn’t strong or that I don’t have some flexibility, but the balance is out of whack when we’re on our mats.
At the beginning of yoga class yesterday, I told Vish that I just wish I could be bendy without having it hurt. My hips are seriously and painfully tight, only making some temporary progress when I do yoga everyday—which I don’t have time for right now. Petra can practically turn her shoulders inside out—no, not practically, she can turn her shoulders inside out. And I can’t even put my arm completely straight up without placing a lot of tension on my shoulder.
We each have a starting point, so in class when I’m trying to “let go,” she’s trying to “engage.”
Yesterday in class, Vish answered my question about whether or not I could ever be bendy without pain by talking about reaching for the bendiness in a new way. Instead of trying to use my muscles to push my body into a deeper stretch, I need to let go of my muscles. Seems obvious, right? It’s not that easy (for me)!
At one point she said that flexibility is not something that’s outside my body that I’m trying to acquire, it’s something I already have—I just have to access it. If we start from a place of “lack” we’re always trying to be or do something that’s not “us.”
The getting it is in the already-ness.
Once I focused on letting go of my muscles, my stretching felt completely different—I wasn’t trying to force my muscles and tendons to be something they weren’t. I was trying to access them in a different way.
Can’t we do this with everything? Don’t we already have everything we need to be and do and feel exactly who and how we want? Maybe we just have to pull it out of ourselves in a different way instead of trying to find it somewhere outside.