Oh my, this is awful, I can't watch, please someone get me OUT OF HERE!
I can't stand this feeling, quick, something else please.
Ever felt like this before? If your a human, I'm going to bet you have. This feeling is called Dvesha in Sanskrit or Aversion in English.
And its not pleasant! It can get in the way of the feeling that we are in Yoga, this feeling of alignment or Dharma. It actually can get in the way, ALOT.
We can experience aversion to food, smells, experiences, seasons, people, events, words... its pretty vast the amount of exeperiences we can be involved in and have some sort of reaction to it.
Just lately from studying the Bhagavad Gita, THIS has really landed with me;
SEE DIFFICULTIES AS DHARMA
Whaaaat? Yes, these moments, can also be an invitation to be more fully on your path. Seems funny but also not surprising that that the most tricky and difficult moments, the ones we literally want to R U N from, can be an opportunity for practice. Feel them, get comfortable with them, know them and they make take you to some wonderful insights, nuggets, nectar even.
Our experiences on the mat are a great place to start.
For me, a posture which I don't like (and almost silently sigh at) is Ustrasana. If it was up to me and I didn't know what I do know about the purposefulness of the postures, I would avoid backbends for a lifetime (well, this is how I feel today). I would of course stick with the parts of the practice that I really love, aka READ HERE: that I feel reasonably competent at.
But when I do that, all I am doing is re-enforcing my own habitual patterns. My own comfortable ways of doing things. And while I do that, I am making that habit and that preference deeper in my psyche. I'm staying with what is familiar and perhaps easy. And there is not much opportunity for growth (or failure!) there.
So the times that we are feeling aversion (dislike, hate, fill in the blank) can be a wonderful opportunity for some self-study, self-knowledge, self-reflection. If we can stay with the feels, with the sensation of not liking something or someone, if we can be with it and let it be part of our path, well there is some good juicy nectar for us.
** Please note, I am not talking about any circumstances where your safety or health is at risk. There are most certainly times where you body is telling you to get the heck out of here, and that is what you must do. That is the practice, that is your life.
Yoga is of course about seeing very clearly, what is actually happening. Not what we wish, or don't want, or "tell me what you want, what you really, really want" thank you Spice Girls but what is here, now, right in front of us. But Yoga is also skilfulness in action, thank you to the Bhagavad Gita for bringing us this wonderfully deep and complex battle that show's us what skilfulness in life looks like.
One of the juicy parts of this epic, is that it directs us in many different ways, to fully be who we are. Yes, isn't that cool! An ancient and epic tale of war, which slowly offers us much advice on life.
Anyway, its a big topic this Bhagavad Gita, but there's one part in particular which I'd love to write about. And its this, personal alignment, or integrity. THIS! Yes.
Personal integrity has a feeling-tone. We know when we feel good about our words and actions, maybe a smile, perhaps a skip in your step, most likely a great nights sleep. But on the flip side we certainly feel it when we are not, think anxiety, worry, fearful thoughts, lack of sleep. There's a knowing there, and its like a feedback system (Vijnanamaya Kosha territory!).
You just ##know##!!!
And this is where the skilfulness comes into the picture, *skill*fullness. Think about that, feeling in such alignment that you can be full of skill in responding to and envisioning your life, creating good Karma and maybe disrupting old patterns that no longer are useful.
How do we get there? Well, there's no "there". It feels impractical and honestly stressful, to make it a final destination, or a place to get to. But what we can do, its we can notice and really embrace that feeling when we are in alignment, and also, when we are not. Self-study, or Svadhyaya is our trusty companion here. If we aren't learning from our days, we are not taking advantage of the platter of information that each day gives us.
Take your time, each day take notes.
Journal, get nerdy with your days.