Beyond the Mat and Cushion

Beyond the mat and cushion.

How you do 1 thing is how you do all things.

Have you ever heard this old adage (or some similar expression of it?)

“How you do one thing is how you do everything”

And, if so, have you ever tested this alleged truth out for yourself in your own experience?
This truth works in real time. It’s a theory that plays itself out through action.

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Our meditation cushions or yoga mats aren’t just for becoming better meditators or a masters of movement.

They are laboratories for psychological/ spiritual/ physical learning and exploration.
First we learn the alignments and actions. (Even meditation has alignments and actions.)

Then through practice, we eventually begin to discover  OUR OWN WAY of aligning and acting.

Each person’s “Own Way” is how their unique self WANTS (desires, yearns) to act and align, and how their unique self NEEDS to act and align.

A person’s unique want and need might be the same, or not.

Here’s an example from my own life.  How I discovered through practice my unique WANTS and NEEDS. And how this helped me in life.

When I first began physical yoga practice way back when in my twenties, I found myself WANTING movement and flow over static/ held postures.

I had no idea why I wanted to keep moving, but my teacher certainly did.

“You are very fiery and intense, which is a great power. But only helpful once you release the excess fiery tension buildup from your tissues and your mind.” 

BOOM. I knew as soon as she spoke. Her words were a bullseye. An arrow straight to the heart of my struggle. By the way, this teacher’s name was Louise Udayke and I still thank her to this very day.

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Before trying physical yoga practice I had tried talk therapy, a purely mental means of finding the causes of stress and tensions.

Little did I know that these tensions were not just affecting my body, but were, in a sense, lodged in my body.

I not only needed to move, but to keep moving until a certain magical moment. The harmful, excess fire would burn away but this quieter, more focused, helpful fire was still stoked.

If I paused movement and held a posture too soon before the magical moment, the tension would immediately begin to pulse and rise up through my body.

So, my WANT/ DESIRE to physically move and flow led me to my NEED to do the same.

((Wants and needs are often in alignment, but not always. And we can learn through practice how to find out when they align and when they don’t.))

Exploring my desire to physically move and flow also taught me something very PRACTICAL about the rest of my life.

Namely, that I can actually be SUPER grounded and steady as a rock– if I’m not overcome by excess fire.

It’s simple, really. If I feel a fire too intense, I wait before answering a difficult email.  Or if I feel to fiery before teaching a meditation class. I take a walk until the burn is slower and more mellow.

((I also know how to stoke a fire when there isn’t one, but that’s another story.))

But, my practice is more than just a place to find calm. I also discover deeper, more subjective things about myself.

Like solutions to problems that keep me awake at night, And inspiration about how I want to live my one, precious unique life.

Sometimes the creativity and movement are so in alignment they mirror one another. I sometimes find my body moving from one posture to another while my mind “writes” poetry.

Word for word, movement to movement. Effortlessly.

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I want and need this freedom + expression. To come to life bigger, truer and offering the world my best fruit.

I want this for you too. Trust what you truly, deeply crave. And then get focused and steadily work in your laboratory.

If you’re not sure what that true deep craving is, find a teacher— myself or someone else— to help you uncover that true, deep desire.

Maybe it’s not about movement. Maybe meditation is the key.

The space to get quiet and still, to be led on an archeological dig into your mind and heart. Eventually, you’ll unearth your valuable desires and needs like the precious gems that they are.

Whatever your practice, it’s fine to begin by letting it be medicine– away to feel more calm, for example.

But, also, allow it to become more than just medicine– something even more magical– when/ if the time comes.

Not only can I can help you do this, I freaking LOVE to do this.

I can teach you to use the classic tools of meditation and movement. To find the confidence and skill to use these tools in your own way. To find your unique path— in your personal life and/ or work.

I can help you stay on that path as you grow, change, evolve.

Until the day you’re ready to strike out on your own, solo navigating your journey on the mat and cushion and beyond.

Does this resonate?