Yoga is life

Again I state: I have reached the age where hatha yoga is no longer a “merely optional” and has become a requirement if I want to function as I am accustomed. Wish that wasn’t true…but as least I actually have the knowledge and discipline. Sigh. This morning during my practice I felt my spine release, so that my back felt a little like a “whip” rather than a rod. THAT is the “power wave” in arts like Tai Chi and Silat. It is also something that Sensory Motor Amnesia numbs you to. The problem with not working your body properly is that you literally don’t know what you are missing. Don’t remember what you’ve lost, until you either identify deeply with a healthy child’s movement, or regain a tiny bit of it yourself. Is that a kindness? Your unconscious mind trying to protect you from fear of death and loss of options? Perhaps. I remember what Danny Inosanto said to me, many years ago: “Steve, you can stay in shape as you get older. It just takes a little more to motivate yourself every day.” Fitness, “In shape”, isn’t precisely the same thing as health and aliveness. They overlap. I suspect that it is easier to give up “fitness” than it is to grasp that you have less life remaining. Takes a certain cold-bloodedness to keep looking at it every day. Like making ice sculpture in the desert. Every day there is a little less ice. But…if you keep improving your skill, you can still make something beautiful. Eventually, of course, the sands drink us all.

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