Introspection and Yoga

Oct 5, 2015 | Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 4 comments

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The Gold in Silence

In August I did a weeklong course called POL which was conducted partially in silence. I didn’t feel constrained by not talking. Rather, I felt relieved. It was restful.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my naturally extroverted personality. Is it really natural? It’s only late in life that I’ve been drawn to the reflective practices of yoga: savasana, yoga nidra, pranayama and meditation. I’m still learning. I like the idea of being introspective, but I don’t fall into this sort of state naturally. 

My husband, Daniel, belongs to the Taree Men’s Group–a special bunch of guys who open up their meetings once a month to include women. One of the men described the work that they do in the group as ‘introspection with help’.

I get it. For the most part in our society, we adhere to social conventions that want us to be sociable–extroverted. We don’t have a lot of practice in being introspective, hence the men’s commitment to helping each other find this quiet, contemplative place inside.

Of course this is what the wise old sage, Patanjali, tells us in Sutra 2: the purpose of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind. This see-sawing and yo-yo-ing of the mind is a noisy thing, and at the same time subliminal, like the background racket in a busy cafe. The only way to identify our internal dialogue, which can often unsettle us, is to become quiet and introspective.

Finding the Balance

The truth is that too much introversion can lead to self-absorption; and too much extroversion can lead to losing oneself entirely. However, it’s in the silence that one can listen for feedback about any imbalances and find an even keel again.

Child’s pose, above, and these two restorative poses below help me when I’ve been out in the world and need to find a way back to that sometimes elusive still place within myself. 

 

Setubandhasana - supported bridge with 2 bolsters

Supported Bridge with 2 bolsters

Viparitakarani

Legs-up-the wall

4 Comments

  1. Hello Eve
    My name is also Eve and I have nearly completed studying IYTA teach training.
    I stubbled on your excellent website through IYTA.
    Do you ever come to QLD for retreats?
    I am fascinated about your surgery, I am nearly 46 (with hypo mobility) and this year discovered I have arthritis in my left hip, I have always had a slight limp on and off, I manage well but since I have attended one on one pilates once a week hips/back have got very aggrivated.
    I just wanted to ask looking back at your operation would you have done it sooner, now that you know how good the result was?
    Warm Regards
    Eve Rogalsky

    Reply
    • Hi Eve,
      You’ve asked a pertinent question. When is the right time for hip surgery? If you wait too long, you may be in unnecessary pain. Also, you become less active when the arthritis gets worse and then you aren’t in the best condition for major surgery. I had my surgery when I was still fit and mobile so it was easier to rehabilitate, but I also managed my condition with acupuncture, physiotherapy, and, of course, yoga practice. I did this for 18 years.
      If you’ve had a look around my blog site, you will have found several posts relating to osteoarthritis and hip replacement surgery. There are also some articles that I wrote for magazines that may have links on the Internet.
      I’ve been asked to be part of an IYTA workshop to be held on the Gold Coast in March, and that may provide an opportunity to meet in person.
      I hope I’ve been able to be of help, and if you would like to talk further, we can exchange phone numbers.
      Kindly,
      Eve

      Reply
  2. Thankyou Eve for such sharing your story and great advice.
    I would like to speak at some time. Just not keen to put my number out in public.
    Much sunshine
    Eve

    Reply
    • You could if you like message me on Facebook?
      Eve

      Reply

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