Yoga happens in relationship, in relationship with ourselves, other people and the natural world.
Though the yoga phrase “open heart,” is flawed, it hints at what occurs when we sit with our breath long enough, still our minds and create ease in our bodies.
I often suggest the image of a naturalist to my students as they observe their breath.
The naturalist does not want to change the scene, he or she notes it.
Receptivity is an asset for a naturalist, the ability to soften the eyes (another yoga cliche!) and release any emotional or muscular tension that affect the moment’s unfolding.
Embodying time and space through a felt sense of interconnection has been yoga’s greatest gift to me.
When I use the phrase “at home in our bodies,” my hope is that students feel aligned with themselves and with their biome home. The naturalists inspire me.
…science, though our major explorer, is not enough. We never really live with the greater world of life until we admit it into ourselves….We were born into the great democracy of nature, no matter how far we seem to have strayed, and more and more people are looking to be its citizens again.
A new relationship between us and the living world is still ahead of us, in what form no one can say. Who knows how the infinitely complex relationships of the watery planet will realign themselves tomorrow? It will not be entirely of our doing….We may not know ourselves well enough to understand why we behave the way we do, but we receive the universe directly. The surest way ahead is to trust the primal source that each life, human and nonhuman, embodies. Coexistence requires love, and at the very least an acknowledgement that we do not live in isolation. The exploration has hardly started. – from John Hay’s The Undiscovered Country