I can’t read your mind. But after 15 years of teaching yoga I have learned how to read your body. Thanks to the body/mind connection, often I don’t need to read your minds because your body is telling me everything I need to know. While I’m teaching a yoga class, I can see the open hearted practitioner manifesting the courage they are demonstrating in their daily life. I can see the slumped shoulders of the practitioner who feels burdened by the weight of the world or who is guarding a broken heart. By reading bodies, I can see those who are rigid in their thinking and those who are open, those who are focused and those who aren’t. I can see those who are enjoying class and those who are counting the minutes ‘til it’s done. What is really cool is to feel an entire class move and breathe collectively. In those magical moments, the entire class feels like it shares the same body and mind. Truly that is the oneness of yoga.
This body/mind connection is perhaps more powerful than we imagine. The same way that your mind affects your body, you can reverse engineer this concept so that by changing the shape of your body, you can change the state of your mind. In yoga practice you adopt the shape of a warrior to find the powerful warrior inside of you that knows how to conquer whatever stands before you, even if you don’t feel particularly powerful. You become the eagle to find your focus when you are feeling unclear. You morph into the dog to celebrate playfulness and groundedness when you might be feeling untethered and all business. You yield in child’s pose to practice humility and submission when you might be experiencing a power struggle. No wonder we walk away from a yoga class feeling like the practice has enlivened all those parts of us that we knew were there but were maybe resting dormant.
I invite you to come to yoga class this week and find your warrior, your eagle, your dog, and your child. I invite your grand spirit into this giant collective of breathing, moving beings as we all practice becoming one with body and mind and each other.