by Steph Creaturo
We say the instructions over and over again to hone the skill of inner listening. We listen with the ears but we become immune because our sense of hearing is overworked. Our headphones are firmly jammed into our ear canal so we can disengage in order to stay sane.
Our senses, like anything else, can be overworked. Like muscles we overuse in down dog, our senses are constantly working. And in urban environments, we use our senses to withdraw. So they go into a defensive posture and stay there.
Yoga is as much about retraining the senses as retraining the body. We start in a quiet seat and we use the breath to draw our external energies and engagements inward.
We watch our thoughts if we can let ourselves do so. The insidious nature of the voices in our head will make yoga as routine as your commute on the F train. And we stay stuck.
Yoga is a way to reignite our senses. It is a balm for the weary, cynical, caustic urbanite. Yoga is persistent, like the guy you keep saying no to for your first date and end up marrying. The practice of yoga is messy. It requires us to disengage our routine cylinders. And that break in routine, in habit, can put us in emotional no-man’s land unless we accept the vulnerability of the new – whatever the new may be.