Friday, April 23, 2010

Getting There

We've all got something to do, some place to be. An appointment to make, a meal to eat. Something. We rush through our lives without taking time to enjoy each moment.

I was reminded of this message today, during Christy's yoga class. Early on in the class, she was talking about getting deeper into a position, not by force but by way of surrender. With each exhalation, we were to surrender deeper into the pose. The goal, she mentioned, was not the perfect pose, but enjoying getting into that pose. She'd lived in Hawaii, and said that visitors used to always want to visit Hana, Maui. They'd talk, talk, talk about going to Hana. And the whole ride there, they'd be waiting to discover Hana. On arrival, they'd notice a grocery store, a couple of restaurants, and not much else. You see, the glory wasn't in arriving at Hana, but was instead the magnificent, scenic ride to Hana.

She mentioned that we often look to the goal, rather than enjoying the journey. We do this all the time. We plod through the workout to have a better body, when really, we should be enjoying the feeling of our bodies working and sweating it out. When we eat, we choke down food in large quantities, instead of savoring each small bite. We work "for" or "toward" something, when we should be focusing on what's good now.

This is what I love most about yoga. It's not just about stretching, or building strength. It's about understanding life, and motivation, and focusing the mind and the breath. It's taking our bodies to the edge, and noticing where that is, when to push and when to hold back.

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