Soft hands belie a commitment to hand sanitizers as the Pandemic forges onward.
Those souls whose sensory overload comes quickly in the best of times are quickest to notice the rawness of skin now washed in a constant acid bath of battle. No lotion soothes these scoured parts, the instruments of giving and receiving for too human bodies.
The skin the world sees, the skin of the organs, the skin of the breath and even the mind is chafed and chapped and twitchy. We are fragile and too tender for the fight.
Being thin skinned takes on a sharp meaning when the thickness of ones skin implies protection.
In a world where beauty certainly isn’t only skin deep, at a time when we are forced to the surface hourly in an attempt to come up for news that is the air defining our days, we live on the surface.
The yoga teacher urges the student toward the down under. Seek the quiet beneath the surf for answers to your urgent question. Who am I? What’s happening? What is real?
One might see living beneath the surface now as denial or detachment or worse, disassociation.
Underground is a dirty word aligned with other words like the “dark web”.
The underground rises to the surface again and again. It is blind and desperate for a light. It will not be ignored. On the surface it crashed the nation’s Capitol in a murderous rage. On the surface it is a violent virus burning holes in the skin of lungs.
But in yoga we encourage the students to visit the dark. We tell them with our salutation of namaste that here we are all together. Here we are one.
We are all the same beneath the skin. I see your true self. The light in you shines a light on me. I recognize myself and yourself without ego. We all shine like gold beneath the skin. These are a few of the ways yoga teachers express the meaning of the word Namaste.
At times like these it is a helpful band-aid for the wounds of the skin. It allows the surface of all who hear it to let down the guard, to receive the rarefied air of potential collective kindness.
It assumes what it doesn’t see but is spoken to be true until the words wear off like chipped paint.
For the sensory over-dosed yogi a solitary trip to the darkness shines light on sensations that over-load the circuits. The protective shield of namaste is not enough to ensure safety for the organs of the senses as skin, eyes, ears, mouth and mind reel in the hurricane force of lonesome clarity.
A sensory over-loaded yogi has the challenge of managing the organs of the senses without the warm blanket of Namaste. Naked and alone, that person has to be the nurturing balm for oneself applied hourly as the glow of a yoga practice fades when weathered by storms.
Unfiltered the organs of the senses get clogged with contaminants of memory and fear. That exposure brings sickness.
Yoga is a filter and searchlight at once but not all yoga fits all people.
Sensory yogis should move lightly, breathe softly as downy feathers floating in the wind. Sensory yogis do well to marry yoga to Tai Chi and dance. The dance should be like the I Ching taking them down the path where the souls’ dowel directs them.
Sensory yogis don’t hold your heads beneath the water forcing down that which is desperate for air! Rather let the skin soften and spread into other. There’s no room for the universe in you. You are too full. Let yourself bloom into the universe.
And when eyes close and the skin presses down let your meditation begin, this too shall pass.