Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Men and Women and Yoga and Writing

The other day in my yoga class, I was distracted. I found it almost impossible to quiet my mind enough to concentrate on my breathing–an  essential skill for a promising yoga practice. My thoughts kept wandering, somewhat aimlessly, but not without purpose. My teacher, ever mindful of her students’ needs, came to stand behind me. She pressed her body against  mine and moved my arm, no more than a fraction of an inch, upward. Then, using her own hip, pushed me ever so slightly forward. All the while, she breathed against me, slowly counting breaths with me, reminding me to “tether my breath to my heart.” Gently, she insisted, “Let your mind go. Breathe. ” And I did. I allowed myself to breathe, in and out, with her, against her, feeling her wonderful and gentle strength, allowing myself to be moved by the breath, focused only on the moment. Soon, my heart center was moving upward, and my mind eased, my body followed suit. So what is it about what my teacher did that I welcomed from her and would have, perhaps, found intrusive from a man? Her touch was nurturing, healing and without judgment. I felt cared for and protected. A man’s touch, for me, would have been more likely to suggest something sexual, something expectant, something that questioned either my body or my ability. I welcomed my teacher’s touch and relaxed in it. Moreover, I brought the experience to my writing. In much the same way, I have to give myself over to my “writing practice,” just as I do to my yoga–they are, in so many ways, one and the same. I have to release my thoughts when I write, lead with my heart center , and trust that I will find my way. When I allow that, I write well.

It is interesting to me what men see when I share this experience with them. They read demand in it, expectation, and sex. They do not seem to understand that it is possible to give and to expect nothing. Possible to give  and to receive more from that than from anything that could be offered from the outside. Most men just don’t know how to be in the moment, how to tether their breath to their hearts, and then allow that to lead them. It’s too bad, really, really, because the sex would be so much better if they did!  If only they knew, can you imagine?

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January 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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