The circle. The imperfectly perfect circle. The back bend. Today, I devoted the day to a back bending workshop with my teacher. My teacher focused the workshop on the enso. The enso like the full moon, like the simple shape of a tea cup, like the sun, like a back arch, like an energy ball created, like our cells…it encompasses everything and nothing. It is boundless yet has form, it’s the meeting of form and formless. And, in the form we are in-we are imperfect. We are human. We age. We anger. We laugh. We make love. We have bruises, and wounds. We yell. We curse. We smile. We cause pain. We experience pain. We don’t do the perfect urdvha danurasana. We have spines that are crooked. We are perfectly imperfectly human. And, yet we search through yoga, gurus, meditation, drugs, and other means to get to this awesome place to become what we consider to be perfect, and well truth be told less human. Being human is being truly ordinary, and simple. We must just be as we are. However, we have created in our minds the perfect life and what our perfect self looks like. We are looking for a perfect circle. I have done a lot of this. I have had a hard time with this whole notion of being human, and accepting the form I’m in. This is my struggle. During meditation today the mantra that came to me was “my body is a temple.” It came to me because I was wishing that at 18 I didn’t start tattooing myself, and was concocting ways to erase a few of them. I love my tattoos, yet, I see how they were a way to change my body, and the way I looked. I was perfectly designed as I was. Now, I’m a painted temple.
Yoga and meditation has truly helped me embrace being in my body. I have accepted my limitations. I have accepted it’s imperfections. It was yoga that taught me this succinctly. As an Iyengar practitioner, I practiced until I felt that I had the asana to my version of perfection. My teacher at the time was able to see this perfection streak in me, and then show me sometimes that I was clearly imperfect and needed some adjustment, or that my alignment was not clean. This practice totally grounded the striving in me, and at the same time brought me into my bones and more into my human form. Of course in life with it’s bumps, we see the imperfections and upset that can happen in our lives that bring us to a place where we truly feel our humanity and suffering. It’s at those moments that we connect with all beings…to see that we are all one perfectly imperfect community of humans. We share our stories together. We develop compassion, awareness, and awaken to the form we are in, as we share our beauty, our suffering, our imperfections, our limitations, our falling down moments, and our moments of grace as we step into the formless flow of life in our human form.
True perfection seems imperfect
Yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty
Yet it is fully present.
-Tao Te Ching
Augustine described the nature of God as a circle, whose center was every where, and it’s circumference nowhere. -Emerson