This week we focus on mindfulness and consider witnessing similar experiences that have stuck with us in some way.
Listen to this weeks blogcast here or read more below.
Have you ever walked through a sugarcane field or a bamboo forest before? Both bamboo and sugarcane belong to the same species of plant standing tall like thick willowy stalks and growing in densely clustered groups. I remember running through sugarcane fields and feeling the piercing cuts of the rough leaves and smelling sweetness all around me. It was so overpowering that all I wanted to do was find a way out of the maze. However, in the midst of bamboo trees, I found shade and a sense of calm. I just wanted to linger in the middle of their beauty and enjoy the cool temperature and light filtering through the tall stalks.
Both sugarcane and bamboo ebb and flow in a gentle breeze, however have extensive root systems that allow them to bounce back and stand straight again. They are seemingly similar, but ever so different. I love how they appear to dance in the breeze and lean on each other as the chaos of wind or storm moves through them.
In yoga we often repeat the same series of asanas only to make our way into different poses. We may start out in warrior 2 and end up in triangle or half moon. We step our way through these sequences training our mind and body to prepare for these subtle transitions, cultivating a different experience each time. As we mature in our practice, these experiences change, but our muscle memory remains. Our muscle memory is like the root system of a bamboo and sugarcane. We may feel a bit tight and inflexible after taking a break from our practice, however discover that we still know how to move into the poses even if we have to rely on the support of props or our teacher. As we open and accept the changes in our practice, we start to relax into that familiar sense of calm.
If I were to go back to a sugarcane field today, I am certain my childhood impression would remain as a new one grows and strengthens the former memory. I would walk around a little wiser and more aware of my surroundings.
YOUR MINDFUL MOMENT
This week think about two events in your life that appear very similar, however your experience of each was strikingly different. Take a moment to recall how you were different in each situation and what stands out about each. Were there certain smells, sounds, or colors that stand out? Then take a moment to observe how you reacted without placing too much emphasis on why.