I think yoga invites us to practice a beautiful paradox. Specifically, when we’re on our mats practicing asana, or poses, ideally we attempt to do two mutually exclusive things in our minds. First, as part of the work-IN, we observe the feelings, sensations, emotions, and stories in our body mind. We get curious about why we feel tension in our jaw, or why we get frustrated, or why that person triggers us, why we’re mad at him/her, and so on. In short, yoga is like seeing a counselor … only you’re sweating, getting stronger, becoming more flexible, and you’re your own therapist.
Conversely, we also practice finding peace and calm by living more in the gaps between thoughts. Cynthia Bourgeault puts it this way: “In the nanosecond between the cessation of one thought and the arising of the next, there is a moment of pure consciousness where subject and object poles drop out and you’re simply there.” What’s she’s getting at is the more you live between your thoughts, the more you’re PURE, UNFILTERED BEING. You stop doing or thinking, and YOU JUST ARE. In this space you encounter and are filled with peace and joy as you uncover your TRUE self, while simultaneously realizing the deep connection between you and all other beings.
So, today I invite you to practice the paradoxical but beautiful inner-work of yoga (NO mat required! :). Both observe and work through your stuff, while also living more in the calming gaps between thoughts.