by Gina Caputo, CSOY Founder
This past weekend Matthew came to CSOY to present WAWADIA, his current research project, short for What Are We Doing In Asana Anyway? It was scintillating, illuminating and provocative, just as expected. He knows full well, though, that he's opening a Can O' Worms and that can feel very disconcerting and destabilizing to some. In many ways it's just easier to do things without asking questions, especially with a sense that 5000 years of history and wisdom are behind what you're doing. However, he is quick to point out that worms make compost too and that what is revealed may actually provide nutrients to your seeds of intention as a modern day yoga teacher and enable you to be of greater service to the practitioner of today. It's not terribly far off from when Richard Freeman says "Yoga will ruin your life." Both of these remind me of one of my favorite (and decidedly unorthodox) teaching metaphors: Yoga is a "shit disturber" and you may actually feel awful before you feel wiser, almost as if you're sitting in your own shit for a bit while you learn from it and it changes (compost heap). In Nature, shit is fertilizer and as it is in the macrocosm, so too is it in the microcosm. Meaning, as it is in Nature, so too it is in you. The exploration and examination and experiencing can turn your "life's manure" into rich, nourishing fertilizer.
I firmly believe this practice gives us the opportunity to look at the tapestry of our lives and make connections, sharpen focus and unearth the root causes of our suffering. And because we are all connected, committing to this honest (and often dirty) work will ultimately be of benefit to all. We teach by example, we influence and impact each other ALL THE TIME.
My renewed goal after this weekend with Matthew is to do everything I can to create a safe haven for exploration. To facilitate an opportunity to witness what arises and explore it according to one's own desire, ability and appetite on any given day. And I commit to redoubling my efforts to not turn away from the manure but keep my eyes and heart WIDE OPEN and my soul gardening tools handy.