This past Monday I took a workshop with the queen Carrie Owerko and at the end of class she spoke about allowing one self to be in a place of not knowing. In situations where you don’t know what’s coming next and you have no prewritten scenario. It is in those moments we are truly aware and present, soaking up new information and having an experience we’ve never had before. Now this speaks to me on so many levels! As a teacher it is exactly how my classes are usually structured, always keeping that element of surprise till the end. A lot of my students say that we always do something new and they never know what to expect and therefor they really have to pay attention. BINGO!
Kevin Gardiner spoke about the same idea. When we find ourselves in this space of not knowing, we truly must listen, be aware and be present in our bodies, in the moment. This is yoga! If as a teacher you can create that safe space of not knowing that demands full attention and presence, chances are your students will have a new experience. Once you have a new experience you create space for new possibilities and a broader vision. Most importantly even if for a short period of time, you allow yourself unconsciously to truly be present. You can’t have an agenda if you have no idea what’s about to happen next and you are just discovering what’s happening now.
Taking that context off the mat. We are creatures of habits. I notice how cosy I am in my world and even if not always happy it is oh so hard to move my tush and seek out or create opportunities for new experiences. If you are not happy and you continue the same routine while you work towards goals that you think will make you happy: new job, promotion, new relationship, financial stability…, chances are you will feel pretty much equally unhappy once you get there. Ever had that experience? I am more and more aware that it is not about the WHAT but about the HOW. How do I approach same chores, how do I approach my relationships, how do I approach my days and how can I create space to have a different experience as perhaps my previous experience didn’t quite work well for me. Chances are if I stay open, present and honest I just might create space for myself to have a new experience. When I have a new experience, I might find new glimpses of possibilities that will take me out of my routine and create opportunities to start anew, to create new habits and perhaps have a clearer vision of what exactly it is that I need in order to be happy.
So when people ask me why I practice yoga, sometimes the answer is hard to put into words. Yes the obvious physical benefits, but beyond that, this practice continues to open my eyes, discovering the world anew. Creating space for growth so that my life on this earth might be a little lighter and little brighter.