With the equinox here and full on Fall in our midst, the theme for the week is on holding to your center and finding a balanced action between effort and surrender. I have a very vivid memory of being younger and afraid of getting shots--there is a lot of company for me here, I know--I would tense up, practically my arm would be numb from grasping the muscles so tightly onto the bones before the needle would even be unwrapped. There was complete terror in my body and I held onto it so tightly that when the needle did finally get the job done, I had a bruise the size of a softball from where it penetrated my skin. As we move through life, it is very hard to understand the balanced action between effort and surrender--too much effort (muscle energy) and we are ridgid and stuff--too much surrender (organic energy) and we are not in tune with our bodies--at which point in our life does the balanced action come in, and if you're not a Yogi, do you even understand it? I have gone for acupuncture treatments, I am still deathly afraid of needles, but I have come to understand that the if I surrender myself to the treatments, I barely feel the needles, and if I use my breath to give me a focal point, the treatment is over before I know and there is no bruising.
In JDC today, we explored this topic, and the group of girls today would rather surrender themselves and their self worth than put in too much effort and find the will to stand up for themselves. The mat, is like a mirror to your inner Self in some ways--what we give to our asana practice is what we give to our life--you can't lie to the mat, you can't shortcut on the mat, what you give is what you get---which is one thing that I love about Yoga!!! Many times in jail during Yoga the mat is a truth stone--in the last seven months I've noticed kids either try and better themselves or they give up completely and don't even try. Today in the girls class it was a class of don't even tries because "I can't". At which point in these girls lives did their will to see their inner goodness get turned off--who was the role model who gave the transmission that it is ok to just give up when things are hard--when did it become ok to settle for what you have right now in your life and not strive to reach for and embrace your inner goodness? The balanced action of life in some of these girls is so cloaked that they have forgotten who they are---but here is where the Yogi Magic comes in, as I explained, the mat is a mirror, the magic part is that the inner goodness of everyone shines out in every pose, it is whether we choose to see it or not. As I sat with a room of 8 stunned young women, one beautiful flower said, "You mean to tell me, that even if I'm not in a perfect pose, and I'm falling over that my inner goodness is there---?" Yes I emphatically exclaimed, because first of all there is no perfect pose and secondly when we fall over is when we find our center--and we feel balanced action, because the next time we do the pose, we remember and we can then celebrate our inner goodness of trying and holding that pose maybe one more breath. There were several minutes of silent contemplation and I took my cue to begin breathing with my eyes closed, and begin our beautiful, balanced action, full of effort and surrender shining out of the inner goodness class.