The Metaphor On The Mat

Here’s an example of a Metaphor on the Mat moment. During a class one of my regular clients observed that she could see from what I looked like in the posture what the potential of the posture was but she felt demoralised because she was never going to reach her potential in that posture. We can look at so many aspects of life and see how hard it would be to reach our potential in every aspect. We can look at other people’s lives and compare them to our own and think, ‘I wish my life looked like that, ‘ or ‘That’s never going to happen for me and it’s not fair.’ This is the first lesson of life:

Life is Unfair or Unequal

We might not like it but there it is. Remember, the yoga postures will often allow you to tap into a familiar narrative that you use to justify how you feel about a situation or circumstance, but perhaps this narrative causes stagnation. In the same way that stagnation of force can damage a joint, so stagnation of thoughts and narrative is potentially harmful to our mindset. We can become frustrated at the apparent lack of change in our lives or in the posture but there has to be change or movement; it’s the nature of energy.

Try standing completely still or holding your breath. Both are impossible for any length of time. Not all postures will give us the same sense of achievement in the same way that certain situations in life can feel mundane or innocuous. But there is change. Always. We exist in this moment, but this moment has already changed into another moment. We all have potential because of the nature of perpetual change, but expectations of a specific achievement or outcome are unhelpful because they are focusing on a fixed point and nothing is fixed. In the NOW HERE meditation I refer to this. Expectations will damage your relationship with others and with yourself. Expectations can bind us to a moment that doesn’t actually exist. It is Acceptance that loosens the ligatures of expectation and makes room for possibility. Where possibility exists so does potential. So, when you’re in a posture and it seems like you’re going nowhere, don’t give up and don’t compare. Let go of expectations and focus on acceptance. This is how you will connect to your potential.