25 Oct Power in Non-Reaction
Equanimity, the energetic intention of the balancing series of Baptiste Power Vinyasa, comes directly after the raucous Vitality series. Your heart is pumping through your chest and as you attempt to maintain Ujjayii breathing, you feel your pulse throbbing in your head. Equanimity series is the opportunity to feel the sudden contrast between fast-flowing Chaturangas and the silence in Eagle Pose.
In this sequence the movements no longer direct the energy of the flow. The focus that you generate is the difference between you letting your achy leg or foot hold your body weight as you go deeper into the pose and possibly fall out or step your second foot down before anything interesting happens.
When you hold these posses through burning sensations and feelings of despair you are consciously or not, cultivating a profound skill. We exercise the ability to stand in stillness when physical discomfort hits and the impulse to find comfort quickly strikes. In this place where you push up against the bounds of your comfort and spill into discomfort you begin to see that staying and facing discomfort and defeat is possible.
In non-reaction you conserve your power and energy when reflexively you may be bursting at the seams with arguments, anger, excuses or answers. There is probably an appropriate adage about every battle not being won or choosing your battles. But why battle in the first place. As comedian and dog lover Todd Glass said about people who hate cats “what happened when you let a cat get the upper hand like this?” When faced with something objectionable, is it absolutely necessary to beat into submission what ever it is that doesn’t quite fit into your reality?
I have a dog that was scared of me for the first couple of years. She was grown when we got her and had had a life before coming to live at my house. She was so scared and anxious around me that I would become frustrated because in my opinion, I was a relaxed guy and had done nothing wrong to her. Years have passed and I have tried coddling her, feeding her and keeping her close to me so that she becomes accustomed to my presence.
Despite that, some days when I come home she still stays away with her tail between her legs. I blamed her behavior towards me on her psychological health. I would tell people that she’s crazy and I believed it until this week.
I came home with a heavy heart and my ego feeling a bit bruised from an argument with a close friend. Right before I opened the front door, I felt my head drop and could feel my shoulders slump, like coming home I could drop the charade. I walked in the door and there was my dog timidly greeting me from the top of the stairs with a low softly wagging tail. At that moment I realized how perceptive she was to my body language but more importantly how I had been demanding that she meet me with a dog’s unconditional love.
I had been fighting to gain affection. And like a slippery bar of soap, the harder I squeezed the more it eluded me. So instead of demanding that the dog come down and great me with love, the lesson is that I check myself and create the affection I want to receive. Looking inward, I sat with the sorrow of fighting with a friend and my reaction to my dog’s behavior. Instead of reacting with frustration, I learned that I own the power to create positivity where it is hard to find.