When you unroll your sticky mat and begin to move your body through the
postures, you are launching yourself into the unknown. You are going on
a search for grand things—truth and beauty and love—like an
artist taking out your brushes to explore a vision that came to you in
In your yoga practice, you can have the intent of a scientist
engaged in the most exacting search into a mystery, utterly clear that
the outcome is unknown. You can approach the poses, patterns of flesh
and wind, as if you were a sacred supplicant and your postures were
prayers to the gods, your own individual way of losing yourself into the
unknowable whole of the cosmos. Regardless of how you approach the
practice of asana, there is one thing all intents to yoga have in
common, the desire for some sense of change. We start our yoga in a
certain state of mind. As the body changes through the process of the
postures, we shift the nature of our experience as well.
As our minds move we also change our relationship to the world around us. We respond
differently to the challenges of life than we would before our practice.
The world then responds differently to us. We change. The world changes.
We accept, initially on faith, that our yoga practice will help us
respond to the challenges of life in a more creative and less reactive
We do yoga to get better. It is a natural thing to want more
beauty, truth, and love. We want more truth and beauty and love because
our imagination can imagine a way of being for ourselves where that is
possible. We want to create a new world. In a sense our imagination
calls to us from another realm. It calls us to the mat and there we find
ourselves in a new way: Out of the unknown we bring a new thing.
yoga this week, listen closely to yourself and with each posture and
breath, let a new self tickle its way into your belly.