This commentary is a reflection on Elliot's recent piece called The War on Weeds. You should and can read that here. I wanted to expand upon his writing about the travesty of pesticide use on the bounty of natural goodness. I find this a deep metaphor for understanding our bodies and psyches.
You see, I believe that your yoga must elicit some kind of action in our world. Yoga for the sake of yoga does not really exist in my book. Let your yoga make you passionate about something that makes the world better. I know that means mixing politics with yoga and opinions with yoga and some people really want that to be separate. Thats not what I am doing here. Its not what my family is about. And thats not what I teach. My husband has a deep passion for the Earth and for protecting her, relishing in her beauty and bounty and serving her deeply.
But what he has deeply in his psyche which many of us have lost is this...
Trust In The Earth.
You see, my husband trusts the earth is inherently good. He looks for the good in every weather pattern. He sees the bounty where others see weeds. He sees power where others see problems. He experiences awe where others experience fear.
These are guiding principles in his life and psyche. And ones we could all use to learn. This field of re-establishing a deep trust in the earth and the metaphor of the earth for healing attachment wounds and so much more is often called Echo Psychology fyi.
I often see people practice yoga in a way that is deeply untrusting of their body. The body is a problem. The body is uncomfortable. The body is lacking. The body has too many weeds to count. The body is aggravating.
And so the practice of yoga becomes a kind of pesticide if you will. A way to kill everything you dont want. A way to force out the mental and physical believed toxins. A way to control the garden you want.
But the body of your earth is far more intelligent than you think. There are some patterns that exist that ultimately enable the great magic to come through.
For example, my bodies design allowed me to carry my baby girl for 10 months exactly. Some doctors were alarmed by this and they wanted her out. The did not trust my body or hers. Ultimately, with a little coaxing, like the way you might need to manually go in and sort your garden, she got the memo and my body got the memo to come on down and out.
So you see, if you want to fight the War on Weeds and let good growth happen as it needs to, to be a little wild, then stop making your yoga just another product to cut, destroy and eradicate.
(Well and maybe consider the grass underneath your feet at your next yoga festival. Ironic right?)
To continue this metaphor further, weeds are weeds when they aren't what you are trying to grow. So take meticulous care in your practice. It takes time and effort and tender loving attention to pluck the weeds from your mind.
I know this because I have to constantly pluck those buggers. Yoga makes us more sensitive. And that sensitivity can allow neurosis to grow. Like the dandelions that spread their seeds in the wind, the sensitivity cultivated in yoga can spread in the wind of your breath. Meaning, sometimes you get things you don't want. So spend some time weeding and pruning. Maybe use some of them in another way, like a tincture for the mind and spirit.
I recently went through an intense narrow around fear. And as it turned out tasting a bit of that bitter and pungent weed in my mind helped me move through with more ease and awaken me to a more clarified understanding of purpose. Thank you fear. I don't want you overtaking the garden but, I'll use you as medicine.
The War on Weeds is real people. Not just for the dandelions and burdock. But right inside your own body. Everything in our culture wants us to buy products and services to fight these weeds...but thats not really what is attempting to be eradicated. It is actually a war on the deep trust in the earth--the inner and the outer earth that is your human birth right.