All week the word one shows up in my head. One, one, one.. over and over again, it plays incessantly. At times with something in front of it or behind, but many times just the word itself. Michael’s conversation last week was powerful (literally) from start to finish but why were the two most impactful pieces to me “simply one practice” and “always as one”? This word has begun to hit me differently and has struck a major chord.
This thought goes much deeper than the idea of “one studio” “one practice” “one style of yoga” “one mentor”, and very much into the concept of human kind. Down to my core it is my belief that we are all the same. It is absolute fact that if you are reading this, you are a human being, as am I, as is the person you loathe and the person you idolize. The endless differences begin in age, sex, location, lifestyle, ethnicity, beliefs, career, education, politics, money, ways of doing, opinion, time and experience. Shave it all off. Every thing you own, every degree you have or think you need, every dollar in your wallet and thing you think you know, we become exactly the same, again. Do any of the things you have, do, believe or know take away from the fact that you are a human being? Most likely those things add to your personal human experience, but does any of it make you less of a human? Is the man on the street asking for change less of a person than you? Is the CEO of the company you work for more of a person than you? Is the person in church on Sunday’s so different than the person in the bar on Saturday? Is the being who lives for bootcamp workouts greater than the one that breathes for yin yoga? The world traveler, the cancer survivor, the recovering addict, the relapsing alcoholic, the woman delivering her first baby, the grieving man who suffers through loss, the lifetime sentenced prisoner, the war veteran and the foster child going from home to home: they’re alive; Just like me - just like you.
I bring this to light because I am surely guilty of the unfairly characterizing myself. I’m always positive that I am the same as the man with no home, no job and no money.. but will be quick to excommunicate the man on Facebook posting pushy religious opinions. It’s in the butting up against that I am given the opportunity to begin again. If you’re thinking “what does this have to do with yoga?” For me, it has everything to do with yoga. The strength of my practice lies in my ability to see past my own opinion and create a wider range of space to think and be. If we woke up every day completely bare, no car to get into, no job to go to, no clothes to wear or money to make, what would change about you? What would behaviors would heighten and what would lessen? What would your first and last thought be upon awakening and before resting? Amongst the chaos, the right, wrong, just and unjust, let’s practice this one four letter word with a whole lot of meaning behind it.
From one being to another, Amanda