Saturday, November 29, 2014

Yoga as a Metaphor for Life
*Or Yoga according to my theory of Pooh Bear

Going into child's pose I go inside, it feels the same as when I eat a warm bowl of soup. The same cozy feeling I get when I pull a soft blanket over me or put on my fuzzy lined boots.
Standing in Tadasana - Mountain Pose, I feel strong, stable, steady, proud, stoic just like when I stand up against intolerance, prejudice or do something awesome like balance my checkbook or parent without losing my cool.

When teaching I find myself relating poses to food, characters & feelings all the time. One day I just said out loud "yoga is a metaphor for life", yeah that's right, that's what it is! Someone told me once that smart people think in metaphor so I felt a little superior for a moment and then thought the better of myself and my ego. Certainly a superior human being wouldn't equate life with mashed potatoes!

Here is the deal: when you start to practice asana (yoga postures) all of a sudden you notice changes in your body and in your mind. You might be like "Hey um, why when I do this back bend do I feel so much happier?" Or when I do this deep twist do I think about how someone hurt me and then I feel like crying and releasing that hurt. In yogic philosophy and Eastern philosophy there is this term called Samskara, the release of blocked energy in the body. The tissues remember everything and hold onto everything, sort of like muscle memory. So often when we do the asanas it's similar to having those memories poked, prodded, and pushed until the come out and whew release! It's a little like the characters in the stories of Pooh Bear. Stay with me folks.

If you have been in my classes you also have heard me talk about Eeyoritis. Eyororitis looks like this:
Look at poor Eeyore's spine. It's rounded over, now think about Eeyore doing a Warrior 1 pose, what happens to Eeyore's heart? It's lifted, he feels proud and happy and oh my gosh that sadness just starts to pop right out of his solar plexus and heart, he lets it go.

We can also have Tiggeritis. It looks like this:
Maybe not such a bad thing, but the theory I use with this is always pressing towards the future. Look at Tigger's spine. In theory a person with this type of spine might always be looking towards the future, not necessarily unhealthy but maybe unbalanced. Because we need to plan but be in the present moment. So for the Tiggers in the world I would put him in a Mountain Pose and breathe really slow. 

Then you come to Pooh :

Pooh is the questioner but also represents love.
“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Look at Pooh Bear, his spine is nice and straight, he is in the moment, he is experiencing love and being in the present. 

Let us all try to strive everyday through the practice of our spine, our words, our thoughts and our meditations to be like Pooh. 

And mentioning meditations to be like the wise Piglet: Who says “How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell feel it." - Pooh” 
― A.A. Milne

Ah yes, Yoga is a metaphor for life: Stand up straight, be in the moment, ask big questions but above all LOVE.

Love and Light,

*Just to show that there are no original thoughts left (not that I really believe this) here is an article I found when doing some research about yoga being a metaphor for entrepreneurs for those of you who wish to explore this topic further.