16 April, 2012

Going deeper into the pose

On the mat/Off the mat.

This week I made the decision to go to a yoga retreat. That probably sounds more "yogi-like" than it actually is. Unlike a meditation retreat, where one would sit, silently, for days, the yoga retreat is more of a social, summery event, involving dining, wine, yoga, and one can only imagine what other festivities. So it's not so much a deepening of the practice as it is a deepening of my connection to yoga and its place in my life.

Going to a yoga retreat means extending the connection to the people beyond the edge of the mat, beyond the locker room, beyond the lobby. It's about letting people into my life. It's about saying that I am open, not just to the changes that have or will happen in me through showing up, but that I'm also open to changes that might result from relationships and community that go along with the studio.

Initially, I had a fair amount of hesitation about participating in a retreat, because I had to ask myself "What does it mean that I'm doing this?" I have always been very hesitant and cautious around "Defining Myself" (capitalization intended) by my actions. Throughout most of my life, I never really thought about being defined by my actions, but I think there was something ingrained in me that was inherently fearful about the implications of action. In the recent past few years, I have become not only aware of the notion of being defined by my actions, but I have become a full-fledged subscriber to the idea that we are fundamentally, and entirely defined by our actions. What we do is who we are. All the thinking in the world does not amount to more than just that: thinking. But the smallest of actions can mean everything.

So, it's with very conscious and deliberate choice -- intention -- that I step forward into this next new opportunity.

Yoga as community.

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