Metaphor is Powerful; Yoga is Powerful

We’ve just witnessed the power of metaphor on the national stage, and yoga asana practice is direct, personal engagement & embodiment of the power of metaphor. We embody particulars and so transcend the generalities of natural forms in postures,  as when we engage the majestic conversation with air that is the Eagle in Garundasana, the enduring stability of the Tree in Vrkasana, the open reflectivity of the Moon in Ardha Chandrasana. 

While performing asana, the student’s body assumes numerous forms of life found in creation, and he learns that in all these there breathes the same universal spirit – the spirit of God. ~BKS Iyengar

Yoga asana is movement in concert with breath. Each release, each opening is supported by and in turn invites more breath. Each moment of awareness is tied to a simple motion or stillness, a particular moment of physicality accessed through awareness riding the conduit of breath. Minute particulars, infinitely organizable, known only through our unique presence in this one prescious moment. The moment as it is given to us.

Even believing the force of metaphor and the empowerment of presence and embodiment, the mechanics can remain deeply mysterious. How can physical movements change our lives, change the world? While my first inclination at response is “How can they not? Aren’t our lives, Isn’t the world, a collection of movements?”, the deeper answer comes down to particulars.
“Labor well the minute particulars,
 take care of the little ones
 …
 For Art & Science cannot exist but in
 minutely organized particulars.”
~William Blake
 
Yoga practice leaves us more adaptable, more present and so more alive, creative & responsive. 
“Enhancing respiratory function is the surest and simplest way to increase the adaptive capacity in the organism.” ~Thomas Myers 
So through awareness and attention to particulars of our own ever-present existence, we train ourselves to become more responsive to our worlds and the needs of the people in them.
Still need motivation for practice? How about a recent report in Prevention magazine linking meditation to better sex? We all know better leving leads to longer lives, but if meditation can lead to sexier life, what’s not to try, to love?
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One thought on “Metaphor is Powerful; Yoga is Powerful

  1. In that last paragraph, I made a pretty outlandish claim, that meditation could lead to better sex. To back it up, I linked to a Prevention article cited in the December 08 issue of Prevention on p. 108. Well, had I read the online version before I linked, I’d have had even more documented motivation for regular practice, but the study about meditation and arousal is evidentally only in the print version.

    So with an eye to evidentiary considerations, I’ll quote the text of the article here:
    “Just a few meditation sessions can jack up your sex drive and speed arousal, say researchers at Canada’s Univerdity of British Columbia and Israel’s Hadassah Universtiy ospital. They measured reactions amopng 24 women watching an erotic film, then again after the subjects had attended three mindfulness meditation courses. Watching the same movie, the women were markedly more turned on than during the first viewing. “Mindfulness can directly change brain processing and allow women to experience arousal more acutely,” says study coauthor Lori Brotto, PhD. Visit prevention.com/calm to learn meditation’s other proven health benefits. -Jen Matlack”

    There it is! So next time you head for your mat or cushion, consider grabbing your honey, sitting back to back and finding your own bliss together.

    And consider that most spiritual traditions use romantic love as a model for our relationship with the divine. Bring more flavor to all that you do and meditate regularly to fall in love with your life!

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