I have always envied those that could chose one theoretical construct versus another. It was a hallmark of studying in Psychology (and Speech Pathology), each prof and their selected students had a different set of underlying explanations for their world view- behavioural, cognitive, neurospsychological, social-psych... At the time I was very much a: "well of course it's not that simple, it's a combination of all".
I still view the world this way- Autism isn't simply a neurological disorder, it's a combination of genetic vulnerability, environmental factors (i.e. pollutants, family dynamics, mother's health-age during pregnancy) and neurological infarcts (i.e. anoxic birth, difficult delivery, prematurity, drug exposure etc etc). The research is slowly catching up to what academics have been suspecting for decades... but then how can you conduct valid research studies with SO many variables? Hence the confusion, researchers pick one because that's what our scientific model recommends, and we get one narrow slice of the child-individual's world.
I find yoga to be this way sometimes. Depending on your "style" of choice, you can focus here as if the answer lies ONLY in Iyengar-Ashtanga-Bikram-Vinyasa-Baptiste's method. The idea of a "pure yogi" or "what is yoga" can permeate and (for myself) cloud what is important until all we discuss are things like how *old* is yoga. Why waste the energy? After such heated discussions, I leave feeling empty, drained and frustrated. I've been careful recently where I go and what I read (and there are many blogs whom I visit and will continue to leave comments because they are wonderful :) ).
Similar stuff has been happening with the Wedding community. So many people feel so impassioned about what their worldview should encompass, that any sense of understanding or respect is lost in words. Pair that with the PRESSURE of traditional society on what it means to be a "bride" and "woman" and you've got a nice group of blogs and commenters that just sap the normalcy out of the experience. (of course there are a few that are wonderful, if there are any readers here that are bride-groom's to be- I highly recommend this, this and this blog!).
After a frustrating commenting weekend, I've decided to stop. No more heated discussions, or commenting my (valid) opinions. There is always someone who will disagree. And really- why go through all that? Obviously, the sensitive soul that I am isn't going to harden up and "not care" what other people think. And I don't see why this is something I should strive to accomplish. I like who I am as a person.
Who I am includes my sensitivity. If I love myself, than I love and accept parts of myself that may bring me pain. If I respect myself, I can avoid certain (unnecessary) situations- such as reading silly wedding posts about something ridiculous another blog has done (did you KNOW there were fake wedding photoshoots on design blogs touted as "weddings that are styled"?.....).
This also includes heated yoga. Which I attended again today. You see, I don't like *not* liking one style of yoga- it feels very closed and "unyogic". Like, if I just try harder, or "let go", or "suck it up" than I will be open to more styles and learning.
After I finished cleaning the studio today during my second energy exchange I found a few quiet moments. The studio and building was empty and the yoga-cd was playing a song by Deva Premal. One of my favourites, although I have no idea the name of the song. I walked into the empty studio, placed a mat and with the music surrounding and embracing me, I practiced. Slow, steady and with Love. Flowing through the Sun Sals, a few forward bends, halfmoon... none of it felt awkward or stiff. For a half hour I had Space to focus on my practice, connect with myself and Spirit. It felt like Yoga.
An hour later I returned to the studio with a friend to practice a 90 minute Baron Baptiste Power Flow. I sat too close to the heater and mid practice I took child's pose. I hyperventilated and cried, tears streaming down with my face pressed against the mat trying desperately to "get it together". I couldn't breathe, I thought I was going to throw up, and I was SO disappointed in myself. What kind of yogi has a panic attack in a heated class surrounded by 40 others who seem to be just fine?
I finished the practice, and for this I am glad, but I do not assume for a minute that the experience was worth it. I am willing to believe that physical challenges and being humbled can provide positive learning experiences but anything that places that much mental and emotional angst is not a healthy.
So I need to accept and respect my body AND my emotional and psychological Self. Heated yoga, like crowds, have potential to result in a panic attack with my Self. Which does not make me less of a yogi. What I practiced during the Baptiste class was not, during that specific time and emotional-physical place, "yoga". It was a reminder to accept and love this Person that I am.
(the person that successful cleaned the entire studio with water-vinegar-tea tree oil-broom-bucket-rag!)
The half hour, solitary and spiritual practice after I had scrubbed and mopped the studio, in my yoga pants and regular undershirt and bra, THAT was Yoga.
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