post weekend #6 thoughts on letting my insides out

i hate journaling. i feel exposed, and i can’t have that. well, at least in the past, like before right now. it is suddenly dawning on me that to truly embrace yoga and the path i have chosen, and in order to develop and hone my authentic Yoga Voice, even more important than learning how to instruct a person in performing a pose (a skill i am learning but at which feel woefully inadequate), i must be honest with myself about a few things. and journaling is the way it has has to be done, i guess. i don’t even understand why. but yoga study requires self-study, or svadhyaya.

“The aim of svadhyaya is to bring the experience of that immense Consciousness, the Self, to awareness (these words are capitalized here to set them apart from ordinary consciousness and self-identity). Just as we might theorize that one day a wave could discover its watery nature, so a human being may discover the deep Consciousness that is the substance of individual awareness. It is this process of Self-discovery that is the essence of svadhyaya.

But to say that Consciousness may be brought to awareness, or “known,” does not mean the Self is an object, like a book or a piece of fruit. We can never claim to have stumbled upon the Self like we would a piece of loose change in a parking lot. Just as a wave cannot be the possessor of the ocean, the Self cannot be possessed by individual awareness.

Instead the Self must be experienced as the deep basis of individual awareness, and this is possible only when the mind can grasp its own underlying nature (sva) through yogic means. Broadly speaking, we could say that all yoga leads to svadhyaya, but certain specific methods are more closely associated with it. The sages tell us that we are the Self and that to “study” it is to gradually know it. The specific techniques for gaining this kind of experiential knowledge are collectively called svadhyaya.” – from this article by rolf sovic Understanding Yourself: The Path of Svadhyaya.

it feels so uncomfortable. it suuuuuuuuccckkkksssssssss. nonetheless, i shall now begin.

until recently i have felt “not yogi enough”, like a fraud. in fact that is a word i have used in negative self-talk, in the past. that and charlatan. it occurs to me today that perhaps my only fraud is in deceiving myself into believing that it is not okay to simply be a human being, one with faults and bad habits and tendencies to argue, to want to be right, quick to anger, facebook- addicted, bitchy, don’t get together with my friends often enough, personally lazy in the areas of finance and housekeeping, AND i spanked my kids when they were little. i also am a true friend, a great mom, an intense lover, a passionate and skilled bodyworker, a creative force, and a person who genuinely loves and embraces yoga.

i swear alot, and have a dirty sense of humor. i can be quite crass. sorry. i do my best, but it slips out now and then. imagine what i manage to keep inside! speaking of crass, this article speaks for one of the voices in my head: “At any rate, when people ask you how you are at yoga, don’t tell them anything bad has happened to you unless you’re prepared for the suggestion that you look at your misfortune with an attitude of grace and gratitude. And while I think grace and gratitude are both wonderful things, I also think they are attitudes best preceded by bitterness, rage and self-pity.” When i get really and truly pissed, i may never forgive that person who pissed me off. i may SAY i have forgiven, but in my heart i usually hold a grudge. i work on this constantly but until becoming acquainted with sutra 1.33, the part about regarding with equanimity those whose actions appear to oppose my values, i really couldn’t feel it. at least lately. but as of today, i am going to attempt simply noticing these human emotions, and feelings, and behaviors, and just cop to them when they happen. maybe that is how i will confront my edge today. it’s uncomfortable, but not painful. this is yin yoga. i shall now begin holding this pose.

“Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether.” – Pema Chodron

om shanti.


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