Every Pore


Here is the thought that I shared in all of last week’s yoga classes, the idea by BKS Iyengar about feeling the present moment and each pose in every pore.

From his book Light on Life, Iyengar teaches “We think of intelligence and perception as taking place exclusively in our brains, but yoga teaches us that awareness and intelligence must permeate the body. Each part of the body literally has to be engulfed by the intelligence.  We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When the two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides. This leads to a sense of fragmentation…Many moderns use their bodies so little that they lose the sensitivity of this bodily awareness. They move from bed to car to desk to car to couch to bed, but there is no awareness in their movement, no intelligence….Yoga teaches us how to infuse our movements with intelligence, transforming them into action…Asana can begin to teach us. We are developing such an intense sensitivity that each pore of the skin acts as an inner eye. We become sensitive to the interface between skin and flesh.  In this way, our awareness is diffused throughout the perphery of our body and is able to sense whether in a particular asana our body is in alignment. You can adjust and balance the body gently from within with the help of these eyes….This intelligence should exist everywhere in your body and throughout the asana…The sensitive awareness of the body and the intelligence of the brain and heart should be in harmony.  The brain may instruct the body to do a posture, but the heart has to feel it, too.  The head is the seat of intelligence; the heart is the seat of emotion. Both have to work in cooperation with the body.” (pages 28-29)

Each pore on the surface of our skin acts as an eye gazing in towards our heart.  We feel the poses in each fiber of our being.  We are invigorated and made more vibrantly alive, senses heightened, pieces brought together to the whole.  We feel in the present moment.  And when on our yoga mats we practice being fully in the present moment and savoring every sensation with wholeness, this translates into being more fully in the various moments of our lives when we’re off our mats- fully engaged into conversations, actions, and relationships.  This is why yoga is a moving meditation.

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