I practice a form of yoga (Katonah Yoga), whose teachers follow the Taoist belief that people follow different patterns because of the influences permanently imprinted upon them at birth. The philosophy is that patterns are repeated in your physiology and psychology, and that through yoga you can change yourself by finding new patterns that give you better function. The theory is that in yoga you should move towards archetypal poses with the goal of becoming perfectly balanced which will bring you joy and ultimately bliss. It is through the physical practice that you discover where you fit in the universe. It is a process of struggle rather than a static goal in which you constantly orient yourself towards the archetypical pose by facing and overcoming the influences of your personal experience. The theory is that it is easier to change your body than your mind and that once you change your physical body the mind will follow. "The goal is to have the capacity to fill your self with joy”. Abbie Galvin (http://bit.ly/ULTZRX) says, “Everybody’s goal is to have a body that is a well functioning container that can hold the elixir of life The goal is to have the structure so that you can now ask yourself how good can my life be? How well can I live?”
I was reminded recently while reading the novel 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, that in a sense we are all fighting against our own patterns, habits, and defects in order to find a better way to live.
Life is not like math or water: it doesn’t flow in one direction. We all struggle through our own patterns and our own pain to write a story that gives us "meaning."
In 1Q84, one of the characters,Tengo, says:
“'Math is beautiful because it's predictable and totally logical. Math is like water. It has a lot of difficult theories, of course, but its basic logic is very simple. Just as water flows from high to low over the shortest possible distance, figures can only flow in one direction. You just have to keep your eye on them for the route to reveal itself. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to do a thing. Just concentrate your attention and keep your eyes open, and the figures make everything clear to you. In this whole, wide world, the only thing that treats me so kindly is math.”
“Real life is different than math. Things in life don't necessarily flow over the shortest possible route. For me, math is — how should I put it? — math is all too natural. It's like beautiful scenery. It's just there. There's no need to exchange it with anything else. That's why, when I'm doing math, I sometimes feel I'm turning transparent. And that can be scary. ... When I'm writing a story, I use words to transform the surrounding scene into something more natural for me. In other words, I reconstruct it. That way, I can confirm without a doubt that this person known as 'me'”
In yoga as in real life is not like water or math; you have to be conscious to write your own story. You have fight against your natural propensities and habits that keep you from living your own life, to find your true or "second" nature. By practicing yoga you can fight to make your life more like water or math so that it flows in a direction that makes you full and brings you joy.