Meditation or navel-gazing.
I HOPE TO INSPIRE men to practice yoga. I am not sure how to meet this high challenge while working a full-time job that at the end of the day leaves me intellectually exhausted. It is a desk job, and so I also require a couple of hours in my day balancing the mental fatigue with physical exertion. Noting that I work from home and practice my asanas solo it is easy to deduce that I tend to isolate myself. My favorite time of the day is the two hours before I go to bed binge-watching Netflix. There is nothing in these statements that some fraction of inspiration might spring. I fail to inspire myself. This particular meditation is tedious, seemingly self-absorbed and when left to myself the revelations are not forthcoming.
I look to others for examples of inspiration.
While I am here, alone, I look online to see how my peers attempt to inspire. Indeed, I find the most popular means to encourage a practice is to present an idea of the perfect body doing a complex asana, in a serene setting, with light phrases. I feel there is shallowness to this appeal, mostly because the focus is always on the themselves. I do appreciate a well-toned body but, in the context of Yoga, the bathroom selfie has me confused. Even more so, a hand-stand on a cliff leaves me pondering the first principle of Ahimsa which is to do no harm. Those images of contemplative practitioners surrounded by lush vegetation and a cascading waterfall rarely inspire a Yoga practice and more often stir envy. I am challenged to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head when reading over-simplified statements that demand you not think. I would gather from a short meditation of my peers online that a hard body by the ocean with a quote in the air is the perfect combination for social media inspiration. I do not feel a sense of community with these groups, not without the physical, social interaction. Any incentive felt is fleeting. Maybe the expectation is too much for the medium, and I am left a little more frustrated.
A community that encourages emotional freedom inspires me.
So I stop and take a breath; inhaling action and exhaling relaxation. I look inward and ask what does it take to get myself into a class? Well, honestly, I do not take that many classes. I have a practice and I know how to exercise. These are two different things for me. I do not want to look at perfect people doing tricks in fantastic places regurgitating platitudes. I realize I attend a Yoga class for a sense of community that encourages my emotional freedom. I tax myself mentally, physically, and practice Yoga as a moving meditation. I look to a community that inspires me to feel. I seek a unified body of individuals with the common interest in attaining oneness with the self and the world around us by practicing Yoga; a spiritual and physical practice requiring deep thought so we can fully express our emotions. Now that I have imagined it, maybe I can manifest it. Meanwhile, I challenge myself not to judge half-naked trainers presenting an exercise routine in an attempt to create a business under the guise of spiritual practice. Everyone needs to make a living. I am pleased that there are people who live in nature and experience bliss on a daily basis. I aim to be more forgiving of those who expound their profound personal truths as universal laws. Look for my images of peaceful people doing uncomplicated asanas with quotes that move me. And, I will try to keep my inner meditation from becoming navel-gazing. YL