Sunday, June 11, 2006

Yielding: Part I

Something I have been considering lately is what it means to be fully present. In her book, Yoga Mind Body Spirit, Donna Farhi discusses the concept of "yielding". She describes it as a way of being that is perfectly balanced.
The concept is easier to understand when you consider the extremes. On one side you are collapsed, that is the student who is new and doesn't yet understand lengthening. On the other side is "propped". This propped student forces extension on him or herself, looking military in stance. Neither position feels good nor conducts energy well. The balance is yielding. Yielding is being able to feel the ground firmly and extend without losing that contact.
I see this as a fabulous metaphor for life. When we are propped, we are not engaged in life. We may be stuck in the past or just "sitting on the couch eating potato chips". When we are propped, we are forcing life, trying to make things happen that aren't ready to happen. We are pushing toward the future.
Which do you do? I find people have a tendency toward one way or the other. Where do you fall? Whatever you do in life will show up on your mat in your practice as well...Next time I will discuss how to transfer this to yoga poses.