My daughter attends a small liberal arts school in upstate New York. The school has a slogan that is CTM, creative thought matters. We use CTM in many instances around the house. At our house, we use it to motivate finding new solutions for problems or issues. In my work, it has motivated me to find a solution that can better serve my clients. It has opened up new opportunities to expand my services to a wider audience.
This week, I’ve had the opportunity to create a class for my daughters softball team. They have incorporated yoga into thier weekly exercise program. As with any other physical routine that I add to my life, I always wonder how much better I can make my body do what is right. For instance, I have my jacked up lumbar spine. What can yoga do for me that other forms of exercise can not? What could yoga do to allow me to do other things I haven’t been able to in the past? What can yoga do to streamline my body in a way I haven’t been able to in the past? Is yoga the answer for everyone? I believe if I can teach these women to understand and feel what their bodies need, they will be better at achieving their goals on and off the field, they can better serve themselves and their team by simply understanding what it is they need and how they can achieve it.
My answer is yes. My answer to all of the questions above is yes. It is yes for me, but as I work towards teacher training, I practice yoga more and more each day and have come to realize how much yoga can help everyone I work with, Iam understanding what pieces of yoga fit together for each person. There are many different modalities of yoga. Each with intense strengths tied to yoga practices that began so very long ago. The strong belief that the body, mind and spirit come together to create balance, humility and strength is what drives traditional practice. In my many years of body work, I have used these same ideas to draw the mind and spirit into the physical healing of the body. When I began to practice yoga regularly, I was at a very delicate time in my life. Some call it a mid life crisis, I have always called it the awakening, watching others enter this time of life. The moment in life when the mind and spirit have matured to a certain level and they crave movement forward to advance into the rest of life. Our bodies begin to slow reproduction of cells, the chemicals change, the levels of hormones that control everything begin to deminish. It isn’t just the physical body that changes at this time, it is the whole of our existence. If we treat it only as the downhill slide toward the end of what you call life, then I believe you live in ignorance. It is like the convergance of a river, as each section grows and continues forward, it is inevitable that they will cease to stay alone in thier path. They, at some point, run into other flows and then with the power of each colliding with the others, the convergance is a pool of turmoil and upheaval. It turns the sands beneath and the powers of each multiply. As this force moves forward, it begins to widen and smooth atop the surface, and then the flow below begins to follow suit. What is left is an emense, wide and powerful flow. It becomes balanced and flexible, it is used to advance it’s own importance and life forward. What happens next is for another time, because I have CTM’d myself right out of one story that excites me into another! So back to yoga I go, literally.
I can use this convergance as an example of what yoga does under the surface. As the physical properties stretch out and the power of movement becomes more wild and then more controlled, the essence of each flow that came to meet together, begin to play a more crucial part in the big flow picture. Without each individual flow, the bigger flow wouldn’t have all of the character and stength that it can possess. It is crucial to understand each flow and what it adds to the life of what lies ahead.
Yoga does this. I am bringing the focus to the physical, but each flow can play the same powerful part. By repeating physical movements, you are moving that flow towards the convergence. It is a powerful tool to access the mind and spirit, it its a powerful tool to create the turmoil needed when all are joined, and a powerful tool to calm the seas once the turmoil is over.
This is the reason I believe that yoga can help everone, because everyone will have that moment in life when the body, mind and spirit converge. I happen to believe this occures many times throughout our lives. The convergence I have recently experienced happens to be a point in my life when I am physically changing, I’ve lived years and had many lessons that my brain has used to bring itself into the convergence with much more awareness than any before this one, so I , in turn am much more aware of it’s effect and feel each detail much more clearly and defined. And now, this is where I try to tie in CTM, covergence, and yoga. My brain looks at the bodies around me and I feel and know what they have been through. I can see how they got where they are, but I can also see how to unwind and detangle the mess. I tend to manipulate the physical as the mind and spirit join in to create the turmoil, and then follow the turmoil up with the unwinding of the physical to allow the mind and spirit to smoothly take their place of importance, blending with the physical. So as I fully respect the traditional practice of yoga modalities, I have chosen to have creative thought matter. I have chosen to bring people to yoga from a physical aspect, while preparing them for the convergence and the turmoil that attends. I want them to understand each detail of what is physically changing while slowly coming to their own recognition of the powerful flow that is to be. I choose to have them feel what their body is learning, recognize it, and be so very cognizant of thier own reconstruction! So as my clients move through the exercises that I have created from yoga movements, I hope to not stress out any traditional teachers, because isn’t it all about learning more and accepting the evolution of thought? For me it is. I practice yoga. I practice it to get better at using it in my daily life, I practice life like I practice yoga.
There, I finally came back around to that. whew, that was a little longer ride than usual,and I haven’t really even touched the surface so to speak.
As with the bits of information that come when I write, the greater purpose lies beyond the convergence. It’s the flow of lessons, experiences and details of each that have to be brought together before our minds can wrap around the changes that are coming. I pray I can be as patient as I am asking you to be!