1.11 anubhuta visayasampramosah smrtih
It is amazing what pops into your head from time to time. I often find this unique mix, while teaching an immersion or traveling, between being fully present with where I am; who I am with; and what I am doing, and /or having floods of memory wash over my mind. Each space and person both creates new events and experiences that are vibrant and consciously alive for me. Those same time these new acts bring up the past in a colorful and often unexpected way.
In one of our recent Boundless Yoga Book Club meetings we discussed Diane Ackerman's, A Natural History of the Senses. Her work spoke vividly to how our individual senses can ignite our memories and bring them bursting to the surface. Smell is one of the most powerful, but we never know which one will tip the scale toward our unconscious bringing forth those latent impressions.
During this 2nd day of the immersion there was a young woman who came to the session with a friend. When we shifted toward the Thai massage, she had a very personal moment where she realized she could not work with her friend during this set because although she knew her Male friend was safe and she is comfortable with men, this gentleman looked so similar to her abusive father that it felt uncomfortable for her. There were no other details, but her reaction was extremely potent. The male friend was so kind and understanding and pulled us aside and asked us to assign her to a female partner for this set. We made a quick partner switch and kept the session moving.
After the Thai massage, the young women spoke to the whole group. She offered her gratitude for the support of the entire class for making the switch without judgement. She was thankful to the Male friend for his compassion while she is still processing her memories. What struck me most was the lesson she was teaching everyone in having strength in her vulnerability. She didn't pour out everything to strangers, but when she really needed it she was able to ask for support. Our memories can be sharp and unsettling, filled with loss, or amazingly fun and brimming with powerful happy stories. In sharing her experience she could chip away at her process and allow us to hold space for her. I marveled at the empathy filled faces in the circle and could feel the love in the room growing around everyone like a warm blanket.
Students, shared their experience of giving and receiving. Many were so happy to have had a moment to slow down and be present with safe and non-sexual intimacy. All of the walls that we usually carry around with us as humans were temporarily released. I am reminded in these moments of why I love teach this expression of the practice and how important it is to be there as a community for one another.
The next day will shift to a more acrobatic session. For now I will sit with the bliss. My friend Carolyn sent me a link to a Ted Talk on Vulnerability. It is a link worth watching!
P.S. The day ended with a colorful and wild Gay Pride Parade off of the main strip in Ponsonby. The camera battery had died during the end of the acro session so we unfortunately missed photos of the wonderful costumes. The busses were shut down so we had a nice long walk back to the ferry. It turned out to be a blessing as we met up with a wonderful couple we had just met at a cafe and shared a great meal and some good whole-hearted laughs.
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.