dailyconnectionwithnature feature Mental Health nature

On quitting yoga

June 29, 2021

It’s the strangest thing, finding your way in the world, and I’ve written before about the many circular or dead-end paths encountered on this journey of self-discovery.

During early sessions of studying Kung Fu (in my late 20s), I couldn’t get my head around the feeling I was a blackboard being wiped clean in order for a new text to be written across me. I didn’t then have the self-knowing to understand this was not the kind of teaching I needed.

Yoga has been a different, gentler, path because, after going to various classes, I chose self-directed learning. But still there was this feeling that yoga was pulling me into myself and out of connection with the natural world. 

When we were in Spain I finished a yoga session then sat in the yellow dust looking out across farmlands, listening to the pigs squealing in the barn below. I moved to sit with a tree for comfort. The tree told me to go back and do yoga. I felt puzzled, but did so. Still that exchange remains with me, because it felt like a rebuff rather than supportive direction. 

I spent yesterday with the first trees, the first forest, I fully connected with. I pee’d in two different places – this is one of the ways in which trees can know us – and returned to thinking about why I’ve followed intuition to quit yoga (& meditation). 

I can only speak from my experience, I can only tell you what is right for this being called Sophie, but yoga feels very much a source of wisdom and knowledge created in a time and place not of now. 

Now I need to allow heart and mind to weave into the forest, seep down into the earth, or precipitate like water; I need the wisdom of the trees to write itself into my very bones and I can’t do that when another school of thought is, like a murmuration of starlings, already residing there shouting its name over & over. 

I’ve written in the past about being apprenticed to the trees, that I am working to hear & translate their wisdom so that it roots through every word I write, every breath taken, but, like the growth of a forest, it’s a slow, lengthy, circular process of allowing the ecosystem of the internal landscape to be rewilded, and that means clearing space. 

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