The end of March is upon us. I don’t know about you but I feel like 2012 is going by WAY too fast.
The end of each month we honor one member of YIOM. This month I’d like to present Jo Griffith.
When asked to “discuss a problem you had in the past month and how it pertains to yoga, on or off the mat” Jo graciously answered below.
The longer you practice the more you wonder does life imitate yoga or does yoga imitate life? Once while taking a yoga class, the teacher asked, “what about your life you would like to bring more of into your yoga practice, and what about your yoga practice would you like to bring more of out into this world?” (unfortunately, I don’t remember who the teacher was). I am on a cusp of change.Not unusual, change is the constant. It’s a dance. Playing with balance as I lift my foot off the ground into tree pose. Trying to root even in the uncertainty. To the places that still feel connected to what I know, and to the areas that feel up into the air. The situation shifts as our foot lifts off of the ground, as our weight moves when we go to to take a step. Even the foot on the ground feels the change reverberate through it. We become proficient in the act of balancing. So how about when something else shifts? Can the balance be maintained? How much before you fall? And is falling in life failure?
I am looking into going back to college. It’s been 14 years since my last degree. I have done this experience. I know this pose. However, no matter how many times you experience an asana, it is never the same asana. Your experience of it changes. Sometimes, you focus working on a particular part of your body or state of the mind. I am interested in studying something entirely different than my previous college experience so long ago. Science instead of music and social science. Physics instead of anthropology and clarinet performance. But every asana prepares us for every other asana. Even the ones that don’t look alike. Backbends feel different after a few hip openers or twists. All that we do sets us up for the next step. The trick is not to become obsessive with the new, to add it into our practice while still maintaining the rest of our practice.
Anything I learn or do is because it is possible for this body, this brain, on this planet to do it. My poses are bound by my body, other bodies can do other poses. But, more than that, the way something feels for one person is different for another. So sometimes you have to play with how you work into a new shape. Side experimentation, pose, repose, pose. And much like learning a new posture, sometimes the first way you approach whatever you are trying to accomplish does not lead to the results you have wished. My next step in life has been manifest in potential in every posture my body has taken since I was born from the first time I used crayons, to studying music theory, to graduating with a degree in anthropology, and, yes learning even in yoga.
I was looking at biomedical engineering and am fortunate to live close to one of the best engineering schools in the country. The downside to this is merely from my current stance. When you practice on a hill, some things become easier and some things become harder. The world is rarely perfectly flat unless man has manipulated it to be so. The College of Engineering and Applied Science are discerning in who they admit. They only count transfer credits for 10 years. I am not the applicant they are looking for. But yoga has taught me to continue to approach the pose. To talk to others, to examine new movements that might lead to acquiring a new expression in my body – but even if I do not get to where I am trying to go. It is still okay. I am getting somewhere. There is playfulness and curiosity and sensation wherever I am. And that’s how I got to looking at physics instead. It’s a step. Will the step take me to biomedical engineering, or to expressions of my form that I do not even know I want to play with yet? Will I get to where my goal is? I don’t know. All I know is I will continue to move and breathe and shift and change.
Thanks for sharing Jo!!! Go check her out on her blog and definitely go follow her on twitter – @mo_jo_shri