The following post is an article that I wrote for the Spring issue of the Yoga Bridge, the Yoga Association of Alberta’sNewsletter. Perfection and Yoga: a ReflectionBy Pam Moskie Georg Feuerstein comments that yoga is a “vast body of doctrines and practices geared toward self-realization by means of perfecting the body.” As a recovering perfectionist, his use of the word perfecting got me thinking. Is self-realization a product of perfection? And if so, what does it mean to perfect the body? Whose standard of perfection is to be used? My Random House dictionary defines perfect as “having all the desired qualities or having no flaws or defects.” Yet, what is.
We have an assumption in our society that tortures us. It is that we are broken and must be fixed, that we are fallen and must be saved – then we’ll be ok, valuable and happy. A self help empire has been built on the belief that we are not ok as we are. Religious institutions have gotten rich because of this belief. It pervades the microcosms within our society and the yoga subculture is no exception. Subtle though it may be I have often felt threads of this way of thinking in many of the classes I’ve attended. And, I’ve heard myself speak variations of it in my own.
I have had a number of people ask me why I chose Falling Open as the name of my blog and website. Here is what it means to me:Falling Open : A descent out of the chatter of our minds into the experience of the present moment. A willingness to be aware of and experience all of life that is moving through us, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. As we begin to feel the moment through the perspective of our body the crowded mind begins to quiet. And spontaneously, in an act of Grace that is out of our control, the feeling of Openness arises. It is the experience of.
I just spent the weekend in an advanced Enneagram workshop with two of the most spiritually influential people in my life. The Enneagram, in brief, is a system of personality typing which helps us to become aware of our habits of thinking and acting. The premise in this system is that if we become consciously aware of our patterns then we do not unconsciously act them out over and over again. Instead, through awareness, we are able to choose our actions. In doing The Work, as it is called, we start to live more authentically and freer from our compulsivity. As a One on the Enneagram I am prone to perfectionism and judgement of self.
At 9 years old I was shocked when I realized the degree to which we could do harm to one another. Prior to that time I had been exposed to all sorts of violence on tv, in movies and in rumors and hearsay. But it was the bullies at elementary school that saddened my heart enough to spur a life of questioning. At this young age I began to question the nature of suffering, how any so called benevolent creator could allow for such suffering and whether it was possible to be free of it. At the age of twelve, I was graced with the first glimpse of life without suffering. It.