“Abide nowhere in particular: (Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind.) The solution to Zeno’s paradox is that we are never at any point in time, but merely passing through it. I then asked Bri if there were any inherent stopping points in life at all where we would abide (aside from dysfunctional abiding, such as attachments and desires). She tilted her head, slightly stunned by an apparent shift in the conversation, but then answered, “The only stopping points most people would consider would be birth and death.” I hadn’t expected such a profound answer. Typically people just answer no. I thanked her. In truth, even birth and death are themselves only points of transition from one energy form to the next.
Continuing onward I stated that if birth is point A and death is point B, then we never abide at any point in time, but rather just move through them over the course of our lifetime. With narrowed eyes, curious where I went with the conversation, Bri answered “Yes.” We both conceded that even birth and death are not stopping points but transitional movement in the ultimate cycle of things.
I asked Bri if she would agree then that life is like one’s own personalized vinyasa. Her eyebrows lifted, a smile creased across her face, warming her charming little features, and she said, “That’s lovely! Yes, of course, that’s what life is like! Vinyasa is the micro of the macro where we learn to use breath to move between events.”
That led me to my next question: If vinyasa is the micro of the macro, then what is the value of asana?
Bri said that the value is to teach proper structural alignment. However, I was reminded that earlier we had discussed that vinyasa comprised an infinite string of postures in which we are learning to discipline the breath through and between. She replied that the ultimate goal was to remove blockages so that the current of life force that animates us (named prana in Sanskrit) could flow unimpeded.
Since movement comprised an infinite number of postures, I asked Bri how the movement between those particular poses had been selected to discipline the breath. She stated, “Only the [founding yogi] would know that answer, I guess.”
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