January 15, 2017 tylandrum

Seeing Through Yoga

Sometimes, to see the beauty of things, you have to squint. You have to contort your face until your sight blurs. Things that appeared ugly or rude then fade into the background, and become part of a larger pattern, with its own kind of beauty. And once you have that pattern in outline, you can soften your face and open your eyes, and the beauty of the whole jumps out at you.

The practice of yoga is like that. It helps you suspend your concepts, suspend your habit of naming things in your sensory field. Then your mental images begin to blur and fade. If you continue to look with a steady gaze, you can see right through them, into the abyss of your subconscious experience.

As you move and breathe, you can feel the underlying currents of your psyche, the currents that support your animating sense of who you are, even before they congeal into definite thoughts and emotions. Instead of tensing around them, or channeling them into familiar expressions, you simply give them space. You allow them to course through you unbound, breaking and swirling into intricate patterns, and dissolving back into the emptiness from which they arose.

And when the practice is over, and you return to the space of thought, everything seems changed. The very sensations that once darkened your experience, and made it seem ugly or rude, now adorn it, and make it shimmer with detail. They accentuate the unspeakable beauty of something sublime.

Instead of crippling the experience with names, you allow the scene to be just as it. You allow yourself to be part of it. You take in the whole experience, of having squinted and released, and you feel yourself dissolving into something stupendous, an infinite nexus of relationship that holds things together in an exquisite balance. This is the ecstatic edge of the yogic experience.