“I’ve reached the floor. There’s nothing there.”
I remember the first time I heard someone say that phrase in reference to yoga. It struck me how very ahead of myself I was.
This idea is very “BE HERE NOW…” however, we live in a very DISTRACTED time. So maybe a little demand on the current moment ain’t such a bad thing, for some of us.
In applying tantric philosophy, we focus on ourselves as a system. There are innumerable possibilities for what we should be focusing on in our body, mind, heart, spirit today in order to reach this goal of “insert pose.”
So the goal for me in this particular class was half moon, and
we were approaching it from standing up. It started with a standing thigh stretch, then I pressed my bent-leg foot more firmly into the binding hand in order to pitch my weight forward.
And then, for me, came the challenge. While I’m breathing and huffing, and TRYING to focus, all I really wanted to was to get my goddamned hand to the floor. That’s the pose, so that’s what I wanted. And then those words from my teacher at the front of the room: “Guys, slow down, feel your breath, feel where you are connected into your legs… so maybe today you don’t reach the floor, that’s not the point. I’ve reached the floor, there’s nothing there!”
And suddenly it dawned on me that I was truly missing the point. I mean… yeah, once you get your hand on the floor, what? Up opens a magic portal and you’re suddenly welcomed through the doors of enlightenment, showered in champaign and those delicious asian rice sticks? No… no. So WTF, Calley! Just stand here. Feel the strength of your leg muscles, the grip of your hand on your foot. Feel that as you get stronger in your legs, your hips start to soften and open up so that I can shift my weight farther forward. And then suddenly I could see that one day – if I stayed where I was, and focused on that, allowed the growth and the strength and the flexibility to come as it will… that one day I would reach the floor. And there would be a mountain of rice sticks.
Nearly ten years later, I don’t even remember when I actually reached the floor. I don’t really remember how long I’ve been doing the full version of Half Moon. But does it matter? No. Because some days I still fall. (Like life.) Some days I notice that I’m pinching in my back, or not using the front of my thigh muscles… I’m ignoring something. (Like life.) But that’s why we practice. To gain strength, to keep strength. To move through our lives with our bodies, and to notice what we’re doing and not doing, so that we can use more of ourselves physically, and learn more of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Hot damn, I love me some spicy asian rice sticks. Hope to practice with you soon.