Not so long ago if you asked me to “get into my body” I would not have known what you were talking about and I definitely would have thought you were a weirdo!
“You’ve lost your mind bru!” – I can hear some of you saying this! Well, with a bit of luck “yes!” do you know how beautiful and peaceful it is to be without mind even for a second?! All our differences are formed in the mind. When we are in our bodies and not in our minds we are able to experience our sameness, our oneness with all other beings and experience a completely different world and relationship with the species in it that our mind regularly prevents us from experiencing.
It is the mind which tells the Northern Ireland taxi driver to want to know if the person that just got into his taxi is Catholic or Protestant, the mind that informs us that this person in front of us is black or white and therefore governs our interaction with that person, the mind tells us that it makes sense to cuddle a dog, ride a horse but eat a pig.
This is a photo taken this week at the Horse (Pferde) Butcher at the market in Mannheim, Germany:
Anyone offended by this?!
How can you be? What is the difference between the cow and the pig you just ate for breakfast and the horse chopped up in bite size pieces in this photo?
It feels like I have had a personal breakthrough in terms of understanding how we are living. We are immersed in mental constructs that serve to take us away from our oneness with all beings.
We often hear people speaking of “Them and us”. When it comes to humans there is only us. Black, white, men, women, Catholic, Protestant, Gay, Straight, Bi-sexual, South African, German! Stop!! Can’t you see we are all just humans and if we connect with that each day in ourselves we will also see that and connect with that in others! The body needs to override the mind!
How do we do this?!
By getting into your body!
Words and my blog are certainly not gonna help at all, in fact all these words take you to one place – the mind! So apologies for that!
Getting into the body through the practice of acro (batic) yoga and the consequent connection that I have felt has been so profound in my life. There are so many incredible aspects of acro yoga and many different and beautiful reasons that people cite for why they practice but for me the overriding gift that acro yoga has given to me is the gift of connection.
Ultimately this practice requires one human, often a stranger to surrender his or her safety to another person and in that moment of vulnerability you are immediately connected with the preciousness of each persons life as if it were your own.
When you are in this state, no harm can be done as you are connected to yourself in others and so you are able to feel total empathy and compassion. And there can be no such things as differences.
This is me held aloft by Jason Nemer’s feet – co-founder of the Acro Yoga movement. My feet are together and my hands locked – if I fall I will head straight to the ground with my head and might hit a testicle or two en route if I am (he is) (un)lucky. I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you Jason! And thankfully not your balls!)
This is me being held up on the feet of Stanislav from Russia.
“I got you. I got your back. I see you. You are me and I am you.” This is what it feels like for me.
I believe acro yoga has an important role to play in creating something where humans can once again experience our oneness in a world where we have been wired to see and fear differences in others that actually don’t exist.
When you are holding a person upside down on your feet you will see! No words needed!
This is me with 6ft5 Canadian Jamessee. Up there he is not Canadian, tall, a man. He is just a human who has entrusted his care to me. Thank you for trusting me brother.
As a human who has spent most of his adult time on this earth in South Africa witnessing at close quarters the race and colour divide that still persists, I have felt a calling towards acro yoga. Not only because it is a beautiful practice for me, my body, my heart, my mind but also because it can demonstrate far more eloquently and transformatively than any words can ever come close to demonstrating that we are one.
I recently took part in two intensive acro yoga courses – one focusing on therapeutics (incorporating Thai massage & healing arts) and one focusing on acrobatic flying (totally epic and mind blowing!) in Thailand and in England, and it is clear that this path is part of my life.
My feet are always ready for you so if you find me please ask me to fly you. I would be glad to! I would love you to experience something similar to what I have experienced through this practice. If only we realized more in life like in acro yoga that our actions often determine the safety and prosperity of others beings who share the same instinct for survival and have the same fears as we do.
<official end of today’s blog>
Some random arbitrary funny (for me anyway!) things I felt like sharing!
At lunch time during the acro yoga course in London we walked down to the local church yard for a picnic in the sun! (Yes it was sunny and beautiful in England!) This photo reminds me of how I feel about social media. It helps us to connect with something that is not here!
I can’t help thinking we would be better off connecting and being fully present with what is right in front of us? Like each other!
Unlike this couple at a Cafe in Bad Wimpfen, Germany called Verliebt (meaning In Love!)?! They barely came up for air!! (Apologies for the stealthy photo but I couldn’t resist! I could have been naked next to them and they wouldn’t have noticed! Facebook was far too captivating!)
Here’s something for you die hard’s who are still reading – maybe just my mom? This is a quote from Noam Chomsky inspired by watching Captain Fantastic (what a movie!) just for you!
“If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.”
“BOOM! POW!” Katherine Bates
Love your work Noam & Kat!
Sending a blessing up into the blue skies of Germany today for all beings!
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu – May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.