Attracted. …?

by Joanna D.

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The idea of attraction. Multiple layers. Possibilities. Our five senses – sight, smell, taste, sound, touch – have the ability to work together, at any one moment, to create such a vibrational intensity that ignorance is no longer a viable option. Whatever that attraction is, it wins. It takes over. Getting caught up in it, allowing the guards to fall away, the essence, sweetness, rawness to permeate, becoming vulnerable to the emotion of it. And that can be really awesome. It has been awesome. I’ve felt it.

The thought of having something you are not “supposed” to have (oh, but you want it – bad) and what that stirs up inside, is fascinating.

As a little girl I was kind of a klepto. I took things, shiny things, pretty things, because when I held them it satisfied something inside of me. Made me feel something I wanted to feel. Usually I got caught and had to return them and that was embarrassing, so I stopped doing that. Introducing the idea of boundaries. I had to earn those things. I couldn’t just take them. I had to choose what I was going to work for. Had to think about what it was I really wanted, thus altering what I found attractive.

We pick and choose what to act upon based on our experiences. Being directed in our attractions, making decisions on how to govern them, via positive or negative feedback we’ve received from past interactions.

Boundaries are kind of a whole thing in itself but in relation to the raw realization of attraction they can create an unfortunate downfall, a stifling rendition to the exceptional inertia of attraction due to a tendency towards rigidity. Fear. Rejection. At the same time they can make what is given into – the vulnerability of opening up and receiving the beauty of it – something profoundly satisfying. (Is this a play of opposites? Possibly.)

Applying this to practice might be obvious. Or, maybe it’s not.

Over time, in developing my relationship to practice, I’ve gone through several different phases of attraction to it. Seeing jump backs and jump throughs, handstands, arm balances. I’ve wanted to be able to do those things. Friggin’ Nakrasana! I’ve gone through the pain of not being able to do those things. Still. Of pushing so hard I stop paying attention to my body alignment, my energy, and land myself in real physical pain. Creating a desire, an attraction to doing less, caring less. In that I’ve had to look at what it is that really attracts me to it in the first place. What attracts me to this beautifully simple yet complex practice of Ashtanga yoga?

In a nutshell…

I’m attracted to the boundaries the practice requires me to develop in order to facilitate its cultivation in my life and I’m attracted to what that means in terms of helping me create a life I love living. A life with color, lightness, comprehension, compassion, empathy and GRIT.