There are times I come to practice ho-hum habitual. It’s just what I do, this showing up day by day, week by week, moving on a mat or moving on a dance floor. Sometimes I do it because I know what happens if I do not. I like it better when I am drawn for other reasons, but this is just the truth. Sometimes it is pre-emptive. There can be physical fallout, emotional discombobulation, mental confusion…or interesting combinations of all three. When chaos ensues, when I need it the most, the reality of showing up for practice can hit the fan. In these moments, I remember the ancient wandering sadhu yogis who created a Sanskrit language to describe their discoveries about the body-mind union.
Prajnaparadha is one brilliant word I love to recall: the natural human tendency to turn away from what we know is best for us. Isn’t that cool? That thing we all do, and not only when life is in chaos. The way the couch invites us to stay put, less than nourishing food lands on our plate, late night TV robs us of sleep. You know. The turning away from what we know is best for us. To know that self-neglect is natural, that it is human, that we all do it…what a relief. Certainly not a moment for whips and chains, rather a moment ripe for compassion. For being less than perfect, for being someone who just can’t right now, for being someone who knows there is tomorrow.
This last month was like that for me, practice catch-as-catch-can. Workshop, grandkids, restaurant…life. I was on my mat less than needed and day by day I viscerally felt my body moving off center. Last year around this time I had trouble with my right knee, a never fully healed meniscal tear came back to plague me full force. Getting some help, working through this one, I somatically connected how my unique asymmetry was torquing the knee beyond its capacity. It was another step on the scoliosis journey and new ways of coming to center were being born because of the knee and for other reasons as well. And then a few days ago the knee pain re-appeared. So predictable. And just as predictable? After three solid days back on the mat it is still tender and vulnerable, but 75% improved.
And this is the synchronicity I really meant to write about last week. How I came to 5Rhythms practice last Wednesday night in desperate need. Dripping with gratitude that I could show up, find my lost ground, let the practice support me amidst all this creative chaos. I was not teaching but, as often happens for many of us, it felt like the class was created just for me: a practice of rooting, grounding, feeling the support of earth. This is where coming home begins. Despite the craziness of the immediate, in fact in the midst of it all, years of practice such as this consistently save me. Allow me to flow with the big whatever and maintain some semblance of footing.
Feeling ground is the required first step in returning to and coming ever more deeply to center. One word here: psoas. I just keep returning to it, folks. The more I imagine it, release it with the soft ball, call it in subtle yoga practice, rely on it for support consciously as I sit, stand, walk, lift, dance. This is what keeps me aligned and delivers me to center. Even as I type. It will be my turn to teach 5Rhythms again soon. We’ll keep that sense of ground and move on up. Dance into a pulsing vibrant psoas center as entry to the rhythm of staccato.
Synchronicity is in action because on April 21 there is a powerful one day—Centered: me and my psoas completely focused on psoas just for you. You do not have to be a yogi type to join us. You do not need to know anything about your personal pattern of imbalance. This is an internal day on the mat. You simply have to have a body, be breathing and be utterly curious about the possibility of a dose of life changing awareness.
Picture your two tender loins. They are just about the size, shape and weight of two pork tenderloins. There they are, patiently lining your lower spine, dipping inside your back pelvis behind all your organs and then sneaking out over the front lip of the pelvis to attach high up inside your leg bones. For so many reasons, on so many of us, they are weak and tight, usually in different ways on the two sides.
This will be a day of incredible self-discovery and an entry into attunement that can begin to create a necessary shift. See knee pain description above. Multiply by all the ways these bodies challenge us. Know that close to fifty years of experience and exploration has delivered me to this wisdom and I am witnessing it change lives up in my studio day after day. Coming to a grounded vibrant center is where healing begins.
I know this and want to share this with you.