I was not born a yoga-guy. I’m from the Midwest, the reign of hammer and saw – symbols of sweat and work. The pine boards, the nails, my work boots heavy with the meat of my story: mud, dirt, blood. This attests to my materialist matter-mind. I was a pounder and I sawed.I brought, bore and carried wheelbarrow stuff.
Now, I’m with the sore hamstring clan, having undergone the exchange of arm strength for core strength. I’m finding yoga is a fleeting holiness, sometimes a painful one. Yoga is a nutty endeavor that has pushed me to this reach, this pier: He’s from Wisconsin; does yoga in Hawaii. Stretched to ask, what has Milwaukee to do with Honolulu?
Working To Define My New IT
I am working to run that down, tackle it, and vision IT. I’d dare you, but providentially it’s my task and I am encouraged by a motion begun. It was a spark,and now it’s a fire animating the pulse of each heartbeat. My practice is its own IT and a live wire for the dutiful chemistry pushing inside me, changing me. IT... has surprised me.
What of confidence, what of fear, what of risk? These things are nothing other than what my mind creates. There is no risk if I don’t perceive it; there is fear only if I create it, there is no confidence unless I summon it. And if I am doing, why not summon scads of IT, like witches brewing up the reticent spirits—confidence arise, confidence arise, and claim this body.
The teacher says, “You lack nothing, your strength abides within,” phrasing from The Course in Miracles or some otherbook of positivity. But the source doesn’t matter, for the conjuring and the positing enliven my energetic belief—I bend deeper, the snap in my sinew fires my brain, and I learn new languages, molt into new skins, sinew cursing me.
This practice is a bulldozer, opening fresh neuropaths, and the biology of my belief thinks new thoughts, writes new words, arranges unexpected combinations and evaluates all options. I no longer think of it as yoga: now it’s life, it’s writing, it’s dinner, it’s prayer, it’s leadership...it’s my “IT.”
IT Happened Softly
Yoga’s embryonic wave embraced and lulled me to sleep with the promise of comfort. Without warning, it picked me up like a great wave, tumbled me over and over until my head rose up and I saw I had been moved twenty feet down shore. I held my breath for a minute and was baptized anew.
Not a Christian baptism, from a Halloween Sunday many years ago, one I don’t even remember. This one is different. It is fresh, an augury of new motion, and embodiment of new life.
How can I – how can you - repay that which has consummately changed me (changed you)? How can I grow gray, old and wise, calm,generous? How do I offer this hard won sage wisdom to my loved ones, to the world and to myself?
This is my potion, and yes—if a teacher will pour, though it’s not required,I’ll take another drink of what has now become my IT.
by Gregory Ormson - Greg lives in Hawaii where he does yoga, rides his Harley-Davidson, sells flip-flops and writes. He's worked as a journalist, business writer, and sports writer. His work has been published in Quarterly West, The Seventh Quarry (Wales), Elephant Journal, The Yoga Blog, Horizons and Entrée.’ You can visit his blog and connect with him on Twitter.
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