September: Uptight

If I had to pick one word for the city that I live in, it would be uptight. Yet this isn’t my word, I met an elderly man from India (guru/wise sage?) outside of a coffee shop a few weeks ago and this was his assessment.

He had only been living in my city for a few days, and he shared that this was his instinctual reaction to the people in the area. He had transplanted from India, and he approached me because he saw me playing with my dog and not being uptight.

I got the sense that he really wanted to share his feelings with someone. I understand what he meant as I’ve had hundreds of encounters with uptight strangers. I try to remind myself that perhaps they’re not uptight, but rather distracted or confused or daydreaming.

But if you look more closely and keep looking, it’s hard not to use the word uptight.

We are all guilty of taking ourselves way too seriously, and being distracted, confused and daydreaming are all totally normal. But if uptight-ness is underlying all of it, we all need to get to a yoga studio STAT.

Life is too short to spend it tied up in knots inside. One of the saddest realities that I learned in yoga class (actually getting certified class, not typical yoga class) is that some people can’t relax or meditate. It makes them uncomfortable and stressed because they’ve spent so much time in a heightened state of emotion and repression that relaxation is next to impossible, and actually produces the opposite effect of stress.

While there could be other dynamics at play, most yoginis believe that this is great information and a great opportunity. Going deeper and moving into it and toward it can be truly transformative.

Accessible yoga has always been compelling to me. Accessible anything has always been compelling to me. People who say it’s not for them, they don’t fit in, they could never be successful at it. These are all messages that it may be exactly what they need (perhaps not always, but it is a clue that should be explored). Typically, the term “accessible” is applied to people who have a physical limitation, but from my perspective any other type of block – emotional, spiritual, psychological – can be applicable.

This is one of the many beauties of yoga. I view my studio as an oasis of peace and clarity in an otherwise chaotic and uptight city.

So if this is you, go forward and be so fruitful in your endeavors. Untie the knots and know that we all have our knots to untie. Explore the unknown and know that we all have our unknowns.

We are all terrified of what is just beyond us that is so scary yet so fascinating and offers us pure, unadulterated, liberating freedom, freedom, freedom.

Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

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