"We know we are all connected, but we forget. We know mind and body are one, but we wake every morning with amnesia. This is why we practice. We use this practice as a tool to effect change internally and externally in this very imbalanced world."
-- Michael Stone from Awake in the World
The practice of yoga is full of opportunities to unite or to "yoke", which is the definition of yoga. We yoke the mind to the breath. We can yoke our bodily movements to our breath. We yoke our outer awareness to our inner awareness. We yoke our individual consciousness to the cosmic consciousness (if we're lucky).
We can also unite opposing forces or actions to find the middle ground. One way of doing things isn't always THE way. One way of moving the body to a peak place isn't always the only doorway in.
In asana, we have the opportunity to explore oppositional movements, such as flexion and extension of the spine. We can work with sliding and gliding and breath-connected-movements to sneak our way into interesting shapes that bring space and ease to our physical being. We can make a CONNECTION to the body + mind via the breath. We can find BALANCE in the in-between places. We can use our practice to find the balance between our INTERNAL realm and the EXTERNAL world.
Practice is absolutely essential for me to bring balance into my life. It's easy to always go in one direction --that of understood progress, or deepening, or beliefs. Through my own practice, I am increasingly interested in yoking, in uniting to find the connection to the middle place. Join me on the mat sometime!