In the yoga series I follow at home, Namaste, each episode ends with a bow and a quote from Kate Potter, the developer and narrator of the TV series.
The other morning, I completed Episode 4. It’s one of my favourites of the 12 episodes in the first season–the only season I own. Gate Opening–it’s a fluid series of poses with a range of movement that leaves me feeling as if the practice has unfurled me from the things that sometimes tie me up, or at least from the kinks of sleep. In researching for this post, I discovered that Kate Potter herself was excited about this sequence because it introduced the first side-angle pose, which facilitates this sense of opening up.
In the semi-darkness of dawn, the wooden floor creaking as I folded my legs into the final pose, Kate’s gentle voice spoke one of the signature quotes with which she closes each episode:
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As if to vow to ourselves to become ourselves, again and again.
I’ve heard it repeated in the many times over that I’ve worked through the DVDs, but this one always seizes me. It’s such a powerful concept. The idea of “becoming” implies change and shift. But the “again and again” is a return to ourself rather than a change into something different. It sounds like a contradiction and yet it makes so much sense. Of course we are in a constant state of change and growth, but so often our most direct path to success is the one that takes us back to our marrow.
How confounding that the pieces so essential to ourselves are so often elusive! But it is true that we must constantly clear away the cobwebs and distractions and find the self that’s buried.
Sometimes we strike upon a new perspective. Sometimes we find our inner self when we adjust our outward appearance. Sometimes life’s unexpectedness blasts us out of the fog, painfully. Sometimes we open ourselves to a new angle, and in that movement we feel parts of ourselves that had been so tightly folded in we’d lost them. In all of these many ways, life is a constant process of returning to ourselves.
What are your essential pieces? What distracts you from them and how do you return to them?