Monday, March 8, 2010

Pondering Yoga and God

In yoga, as in life, the breath is fundamental.

Always the breath, and always stretching in two opposing directions at the same time: up through the crown of the head, and down through the base of the spine, and the soles of the feet.

I'm drawn to the idea that truth is simple. I'm drawn to it, but I'm not entirely sure I buy it. Truth can, in fact, be incredibly complex.

I've long held a theory that if I had the time, inclination and ability to study all the world's religions and spiritual practices, I would discover common elements, and of these commonalities, create my own sacred narrative.

In fact, I'm far too ordinary to undertake such a task. It would be the work of a lifetime, and will likely not be the work of mine. The best I can do is that truth is both simple and complex at the same time. That either/or is never as rich as both/and.

In the meantime, the simple things (for me): breathe, walk, detach, and love the ones I have before me to love. And the complex things (for me): be present, attentive to my senses, and discern with whatever semblance of wisdom I can muster what detachment means in the patterns of the evenings and the shadows of each morning sun.

I can be grateful for what comes easy, and I can try, again and again, to do better where I struggle. See? Simple. And at the same time, so complex. Always stretching in two opposing directions at the same time.

But if all of that becomes too much to remember, just remember to breathe. That's the most important thing.


  1. Sometimes it's hard to remember to just breathe, sometimes a heavy sigh is the only way I'm reminded to breathe.

  2. i love yoga. i used to do it all the time. bikram was my fave. now, well, now I don't any more.I don't know why. I'm my own worst enemy? I'm a sucker for punishment? That sounds more like it. My breath, however, is my focus these days. 4-part breathing is my best friend. Remembering to do it is my focus. I like that. It works.

    great post!

  3. OH - and the religions thing? Hello SISTER! Ditto ditto ditto is all I can say. I took a hunk of religion in university; i would love to do a cross-cutural analysis of all the rites and rituals and beliefs & see what we get. How fun would that be? They are all so alike, the myths and stories. Geekout!