Well, I must admit, this morning I initially was in just as much clinging and craving for a snow day as my kids! But there was not a snowflake to be found. The night before, I found myself, like my kids, longing for a day where I would be home all day. I envisioned making a cup of tea and writing away at my dissertation. I noticed how I started to plan it all in my mind. A whole day is a luxury to me. I was also looking forward to being in the same house as all three kids with everyone in that lazy mode, calm energy. We rarely have that. It is a bit frenetic around here with three teenagers.
When the alarm went off at 6am I quickly checked the phone for school closings and looked out the window to see the street barren of snow. Oh well. This is what it is and I quickly moved on while those around me held on tight. I heard complaints all morning from my kids, disappointment, and negative energy. It is tough for a young person to gather the idea of letting go. I sometimes wonder if their teenage brains are even equipped to take in the “Dharma.” Seriously, even Buddha was older when he came to enlightenment!
I do believe wisdom and the passing of age helps a great deal in one’s ability to let go, accept, and move on. I read somewhere the other day that “wisdom is just pain understood.” I really do believe that. And I do believe the older we get the more we understand that, and the more capable we are of turning it around to that vision as opposed to the teenage brain that is meant to divide and be in binary thought process. While they left the house in divided ideas, “this day sucks!” I left the house ready to teach my yoga class on this theme of rigidity in mind. How can we learn about fixed mind moments, and preconceived ideas through our body?
Our body is the master teacher of the mind if we allow it to be. We can use so many areas, aches and pains of the body to teach and explore metaphysically what happens in the mind. I decided to focus the class on the six movements of the spine (forward, backwards, twisting, and lateral movement) as a way to embody freedom and movement as opposed to rigidity. We felt what it is like to feel stiff and rigidly fixed in our body and what it then feels like to feel free and in movement. Try it out.
Begin by coming to hands and knees. As you inhale, look upward and allow your tailbone to lift, as you exhale tuck the head and tailbone as you round pressing into your hands and drawing your naval in toward your spine. Continue this simple movement, along with the breath for several rounds with your eyes closed. Now let your hips sway to the right and look toward your hips. Come back to center and allow your hips to sway to your left and look to your hips on the left. Continue this motion for several rounds with your eyes closed. Just tune in to the embodied experience of movement in your spine and notice now if you can call to mind a particular thought that you often remain fixed on. See what happens if you attempt to remain fixed on that thought while at the same time your body is moving freely. What you may notice is that it is challenging to hold on in mind when the body feels free.
I often say, rigid body=rigid mind.
May All Beings Be Free and at Ease