I got some much appreciated feedback that my last post about expansion and contraction felt like it "stopped short". It contracted! Teehee.
I established last post that expansion and contraction is part of nature and part of the human condition. Life can't always be an upward trajectory. Even the hottest, most perfect guy has a fatal flaw. We aren't and can't be perfect. So how does that apply to yoga?
Yoga means union - the uniting of body and mind, inward and outward energy. When we are able to slow down and control our breath, we can start to identify patterns - in particular the patterns where our ego directs our lives. When we are able to step outside of the autopilot of how we normally operate, we can start to see ourselves as we really are. Now - this self inquiry is totally possible in other things than yoga - but yoga is a really great fast track. Let's say a teacher calls out a new pose and our ego says yes - do that pose. But the pose isn't something we normally practice and then we hurt ourselves. That's a perfect mirror for other experiences in our lives. We can ask ourselves… where else am I trying to prove myself? Where else am I not listening to my body? This form of self inquiry informs us of where we are in our current cycle. Yoga is a template for self-discovery. The above example of listening to our ego and hurting ourselves would be a contraction - but that's awesome. Because that realization gives you space for an expansion. Through awareness, you embark on the journey of letting go of the belief that you have to prove yourself and you give something else permission to move in and expand you. I use this example because I'm currently in the work of not having to prove myself.
I never used to understand this quote but recently it made sense to me. Basically, any time we are able to make space, something else moves in. And if you're doing your work (whatever self-awareness looks like to you, it could be self inquiry, meditation, etc.) then the hope is that new clearer, cleaner energy will move into your space.
This is a more esoteric post that what I typically write so I hope it makes sense. In summary, our work in yoga, whether it's physical asana or breath work or meditation or whatever form of yoga you practice, is to move beyond the ego and cultivate the self awareness to identify our cycles of expansion and contraction. We can use that awareness to let go of limiting beliefs to create space for fresh beliefs to come in that help us move to higher states of consciousness, which eventually will lead us to understanding that we are all one, we are all connected. And maybe we get there, but the journey is the really important part because it means we are connecting more deeply to ourselves - venturing into that space between the ebb and the flow, between the tides, that magic moment between the inhale and the exhale, where the heart of consciousness resides.