DAY 71: Nothing to Lose

Author: thedancingj /

Thirty days left.  Wow!  Remember the days when a 30-day challenge seemed insurmountable?  I bet that 30-day period looks a lot different from Day 71....

I actually took a lovely non-Bikram yoga class this evening, outside of the challenge (putting me a little bit behind, but oh well).  Even though the class was the polar opposite of a Bikram class - music playing, lots of philosophizing, all free form - it all felt familiar, because the instructor said some great things that really resonated with the teachings I already know from Bikram.

The teacher's name was Eddie.  He is soft-spoken and gentle but very funny, he drops F-bombs for emphasis, and he looks a bit like Miranda's boyfriend Steve from Sex and the City.  (It wasn't until tonight that I finally figured out who he looks like!  He has the same hair.)

Anyway, there's one thing that Eddie almost always tells his classes: everything you think you know about yourself and your body is wrong.  Not just some of it.  All of it.

Who do you think you are?  Are you defined by your job?  Your family?  Your relationships?  Your heritage?  Your clothes, your accessories, your house?  Your education?  Your yoga practice?    What do you have left when you take those things away?

And what about your body?  When was the last time you saw your body as a whole, instead of seeing bits and pieces of things that you like or things that you want to change?  Would you be a different person if you lost 10 inches off your waist, shaved your head, got a tan, had longer legs, got a nose job?  Are you defined by your stiffness?  Are you defined by your great standing bow?  (Don't let the positives define you, because that's a trap, too.)  Are any of these things YOU?

Of course not.

Bikram says:  "You have nothing to lose, because you never had anything to begin with."

Okay.  You have nothing to lose.  So what are you doing?  You pile up all these things, ideas and people  around yourself trying to create an identity, and that's totally okay, but that's not actually YOU.  The thing that makes you YOU is something that no one can take away.  On the flip side, it's not something that you can GET, either.  You already HAVE it.  You're not going to find it by searching under the couch cushions, not this time.

And this is one of my favorite things about the yoga room, because slowly but surely, it strips all these layer away.  It is a radical equalizer.  When you're in there, your job doesn't matter.  Your money doesn't matter.  You can even leave your family and your relationships at the door, just for the moment.  All you've got is your body and your Self.  And it doesn't matter what your body looks like in that moment - it just matters how it moves, how it breathes.  It just matters that you try.  We are all the same in these... dozens of little pinpoints of light, shedding layer after layer, getting brighter and brighter.


Johan said...

"Aha, you are getting smarter!" :-)

Great reminder of were we should all be looking. "The outside of your body is infinite, and the inside of your body is infinite" can't remember where that quote was from but I think it was a buddhist text on breathing during meditation.

Anonymous said...

Loosing all the traps, gaining luminosity.

Thanks J. Needed this today.

Anonymous said...

and LOSING all the traps

lz said...

J, this post is so profound and means so much to me, more than I can ever express through words.
"You pile up all these things, ideas and people around yourself trying to create an identity, and that's totally okay, but that's not actually YOU. The thing that makes you YOU ... You already HAVE it."
Thank you so much, J. This came at just the right time.

Lady Yogaga said...

beautiful post.

Danielle said...

So nice, j.

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