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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Am I Just Texting? or Am I Cheating at Yoga?

I have been working a theme for a while on relationships. I have found that society has become a mass texting, and emailing, and twittering, facebook, myspace virtual relationship. I was working on a problem where I had to contact the manufactorer, I needed help, I was desperatly searching for SOMEONE to help me, as I navigated the automated system, which was voice activated, and didn't seem to recognize a damn thing I was saying, I finally pushed the zero button long enough for the system to kick me over to a representative. With a sigh of relief for the time to actually talk to someone, I explained my problem, the actual person said to me, we value your business and are here to help, let me text you how you can solve your problem. TEXT me, I felt like I was going to cry....... now mind you I am 39, so I have lived and communicated with people long before the technilogical age of texting, twittering and facebook, so I have a level of expectation of how a problem should be solved, and it included building a relationship of mutual satisfaction with a person--- not a text. I flat out refused this text message, and begged for this person to just walk me through what to do-- she told me that she has only 2 minutes on the phone with each of their valued customers and that if she didn't get this text message out to me should would get into trouble. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? There is no happy ending to this story, the story is that the text message came, and it was absolutly not helpful-- one main reason, the screen of my phone made it incredibly hard to understand. So this made me think of yoga, how many times have I stepped on my mat, ready for a great practice and began texting my body--- at what level of relationship am I practicing. I have used this theme for several weeks in class, its funny to talk about this with the kids in JDC, because they do not remember a time before texting, cell phone, and the internet-- they have no point of reference. Their relationships are based on less face to face contact and conversatin and more on texting, facebook, and less personal contacts. I asked the kids how many of them have had a relationship with just texting, and I swear to you 3/4 of the hands went up-- they told me it was because they met someone, and because they couldn't see them, they would just text-- this is baffeling to me, I cannot imagine having a relationship with someone and not get to understand their facial expressions, their voice inflections, their laugh--- and it hit me.... this is where the disconnect to the body comes in. If you cannot understand relationship, your body cannot communicate to you what is going on-- are we a society of people walking around waiting for a text from our body?

Working the poses from a basis of realtionship versus texting has been interesting-- I have come to understand that muscle energy is the foundation for relationship to yourself. Many people do not understand how to hug into their strength-- they are walking around like wet peices of lettuce waiting for someone to send them a message-- it is really interesting to work the poses from this angle. For example, in tadasana, the standing pose from which all standing poses originate-- you can stand there, really with no relationship to yourself-- legs are holding you up, arms are by your sides, your head supported by your neck-- just hanging out.. waiting..... or you can plug in through all four corners of your feet charge your legs with energy, lenthen through your sidebody, lift your low belly, open your collar bones, take your shoulders down your back, lengthen through your neck and soften your jaw--build a relationship with your body and feel what is actually happening, and know that deep inside yourself is the strength to hold yourself in relationship.

A couple weeks ago, as I was working this theme, my teacher Karen Sprute-Francovich brought up that her son gave her a magnet that says "I cheat at yoga!" It made me wonder how many times have I stepped on my mat, and cheated--- how many missed relationship opportunities have I let slip by. Is there a relationship that I'm missing in Urdhva Danusasana that is keeping me from full extension, how can I plug into myself and build that relationship of strength? And then it hit me-- Strong steady practice of a long period of time with devotion-- devotion is the conduit for relationship. Devotion allows the heart to lead the way, devotion is why we do yoga.

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