Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conversations in Yoga

I’ve been going to yoga classes with these people for almost two years now. We know each other as woman with the leopard spotted shorts, man who runs the email list, woman from New York, woman with the same name as Gorbachev’s wife, man who goes to California. I’m woman who rides a bike. There are about 20 of us. Some of the students have formed clusters and know each other’s names. I’m still a newbie after 2 years.

Today, I got the courage to ask leopard shorts (whose first name I do know because she sometimes teaches the class), “What do you do in the real world?” Turns out she teaches about the influence of art on health. She is particularly fascinated by the role metaphor plays in healing.

I pointed out that the contrary is true, too. If you listen to the metaphors people use in their daily speech – “He’s a pain in the neck” “She gives me a head ache.” I think people would experience less pain if they stopped talking like that and used more accurate language. “She would be easier to work with if she arrived on time for her meetings.” “I could work with him more easily if I didn’t take his yelling seriously.”

She agreed. Her emphasis is on finding art in all varieties (poems, music, plays, stories, dance paintings) from a variety of cultures that encourages healing both emotional and physical. I didn’t even know you could take a class like that in college.

I recently came across a website about a medical conference in which the healing powers of poetry were being introduced to doctors:

Yoga is only one way in which we can heal our bodies. Our thoughts, our beautiful thoughts, can be strong along with our muscles.

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