Predicaments of a Yoga Mom
A cohort in a course I’m taking, asked me if I was hung up seeking the all-pervasive classical yoga value of tranquility from my life. She was referring to a commonly held misperception yoga to me meant an end-game of my inner mind and outer life would reflect the tranquility of a 15th century practicing male Indian celibate.
While I said, “No… that wasn’t quite it,”… a few days later I see remnants of my not-quite-resolved-pattern. Moving crayons, dolls and a plastic dump truck away from my practice area I feel a frustration rise. Hearing a small voice ask my help as I prepare to sit in the wee morning hours the waves of irritation roll in. I notice.
In the noticing, I silently chuckle. The 15th century male Indian celibate and I are playing the evolutionary edge in parallel universes.
In the same vein, Terry Patten spoke to our group about the subtle realizations of the 19th & 20th century Indian male yogis this past week. Their individual and collective interior development is unsurpassed (and his argument that this isn’t the best aim for the present day yogi).
And, I’m thinking… of course their individual and collective interior development is unsurpassed. What else was competing for their attention? Perhaps, the next 5 -day fire ceremony. But wait… wouldn’t that help with the whole peace-on-the-path inner body illumination? Sit and chant ancient sutras in repetition while ladling ghee and sprinkling hibiscus flowers over an open flame? Hang with the homies in an ancient temple for a few consecutive sutra-intoxified-detoxifing-all-nighters?
The breakthrough of a yoga mom
Obviously, it starts with the noticing of the forgetting.
Less obviously, it continues with the experiential (not just cognitive) remembrance of the peace and tranquility that are always the backdrop of whatever is arising.
Even less obviously, in the seat of that remembrance, it’s attuning to the best possible potentiality that is currently perceivable and able to act on.
And that is all.
That was Terry’s point.
Anyone who knows integral theory knows that non-dualism no longer stops with the living realization of non-dualism. It begins with the realization of Being the Ultimate.
It kicks it up a notch to Becoming what the Ultimate is next trying to evolve into through us.
The gorgeousness of the situation is that, while we 21st century yoga moms might not be able to prioritize the regular occurrence of 5 day fire ceremonies perfectly timed with astrological phenomena to fully awaken our subtle anatomy, it’s okay. It was their growth curve… not ours. We weren’t in collective planetary crisis yet.
It’s not the growth curve Evolution is trying to experience through us.
The Aha Moment of a yoga mom
The aha moment comes with the realization that WE… the women who clear the crayons, who help the young and the old.. are in the largest numbers ever…the ones showing up on the mat. We are the ones with the purchasing power at the grocery store… and everywhere else there is money to spend. (Women make the purchase or are the key influencers in about 80 percent of all consumer product sales in the United States alone.) And, what do you know? Over 70% of current yoga practitioners are women. And the majority of women in the US today are mothers.
Is this all an interesting coincidence or an evolutionary curve ball?
Anyone who studies human developmental theory would be hard pressed to side with coincidence.
The Practice of a yoga mom
How does the aha moment change the practice?
The practice fundamentally changes. The real action of the practice has moved off the mat.
It doesn’t change the removing the crayons from the cushion. Or, the remembering to chuckle. Or the actually sitting.
It changes the prioritization over the inner awakening over the outer expression (living actions). Our growing edge is as much off the mat as it is on the mat. Unless we get this…. we are doomed as a species.
It wakes the yoga mom up to the fact that every action in her words, her work, her spending/investing, is the expression of her realization at this point in time. The practice is to play this edge.
I’m taking comments on this one.
BPosted at 04:28h, 06 December
What about the yoga dads? My week long intensives and 3 hour practices were all but decimated when my child arrived and it has been a many year process to regain some kind of grounding with something I might call a practice! However the vast inner work of yoga seems pretty impossible if one is to do the child thing correctly. Yes raising children is a spiritual work and that is our karma, but I don’t think we should kid ourselves that we can get on with the very deep explorations that the sadhus have done. That will have to wait for the later years but is still necessary….
Cate StillmanPosted at 03:15h, 07 December
Same for yoga dads…. you’re just fewer and farther between.
My whole point is that if we define the practice in the same terms… we’re totally missing what is the practice right now – and how the practice as it can show up right now – is highly transformative not to our inner body, but we show up as agents of transformation in our communtiies and in our culture and on this planet… knowing our actions are the yoga right now.