September yoga JAMM

I'm having a birthday this weekend. I used to be the type who got really hyped about the turning of age, celebrating what I've long-referred to as my "personal new year", but I've found with the passing of time I'm enjoying slowing the moment and taking some time to really reflect. what have I accomplished in the past year? what do I foresee as plans for the next year? what am I comfortable separating from, and if I feel there's something I need to cling to, why? all of these larger questions have put me in a place where I'm thinking a lot about how I perceive the world.

perception is defined as 'the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand'. what I find most intriguing in that definition are two words - interpretation and represent - because they both point to the fact that what we perceive really only exists within our head, within our individual frame of reference. and while this can be an extremely helpful tool in helping us shape our individual world, when we spend too much time in our head, then we disconnect from what is real and true and happening around us. which then begs the bigger question, if the world around us is simply a reorganization of the synapses of our individual brains to help us better understand how we fit into place, then what is actually real? what is actually true? and when there are 4 billion individual lines of thinking on the planet, how can we ever come to a concordance where we can have a reality that serves everyone? when we can find a truth that is universal?

in order to answer this question, I have to get on my mat. I have to get into a place where I can release all of these perceptions - these pre-conceived notions, these ideas that exist only in my headspace - and get into my body. because within our bodies are universal, shared, real truths that we all can understand. we all can understand what it's like to feel good in our physical shape and what we can do to bring ourselves that good feeling. we can universally come together and breathe a collective sigh of relief when we can allow ourselves to escape fully into our breath, into our body, and find that ease in being held, supported, strong and firm in the physical space our brains exist in. and when we start to tap into that energy, we find this gorgeous symbiosis - the more we provide ease in our body and connect to grace in physical movement, the more the body teaches the brain to find ease. to release its sense of control, its need to be the leader. to let go of these ideas that we need to be a certain way, that these expectations we place on ourselves are necessary. and when the body and the brain are in alignment with each other, in that space of ease, then we soften to the truth within each of us - that we are connected. that we are divine. that we are love.

the intelligence that exists in our bodies I believe can rival the intelligence of our brains. our bodies have accumulated tens of thousands of years of evolutionary knowledge, and there is instinct and truth built into us at the cellular level. there is a spark of divination within each of us that, when tapped into, reminds us of all of the great feats of strength and power and love that we can share and express. the next time you're on your mat, do your best to get out of your head. let these perceptions, these ideas of what you think should be, fall away. and you'll find that as you release the 'shoulds', you arrive in what really is.