• Erica Webb

On The Mat. My Yoga 'Why'.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a sensitive soul. I feel deeply, which has often felt like a blessing and a challenge all rolled into one. At my best, I am compassionate, fuelled by a passion and drive to contribute and make a difference to the world.


On the more challenging days, I’m overwhelmed by my own feelings and the bigness of pain and suffering in the world. On these days, I’m led down a corridor of anxiety, self doubt and fear. I feel small and inadequate and ineffective. 


One thing I know without doubt though, is that I’m not alone in these feelings. Feeling big feelings is a part of being human, as is finding ways to be with them.


Recently I’ve been pondering on what it was that drew me to the yoga mat all those years ago and captured my heart for the long-game. And this was it - the way that moving and being in pockets of stillness made me feel. As I noticed the sensations in my body and got present, this had a magic way of dulling the noise that felt otherwise relentless. A moving meditation, you might call it.


This capacity to notice something beyond the automatic thinking the mind engages in is a super power. A real life, within-your-grasp, super power.


That is what captured me on the mat and what keeps me there to this day.


Of course, I also simply adore the physical elements of my movement practice - the strength and flexibility it offers me; the way it exposes my patterns (both physical and mental) and simultaneously gives me a way to explore and shift them. Even just talking about it shifts me to a different place. 


Today, to try to put into words and imagery the reasons why I move, I’m throwing back to an old passion of mine - poetry. Words have always been a refuge for me, and I hope you enjoy these ones that I’ve woven together.


***

On The Mat


Sometimes, the world feels noisy

And the sirens of pain and competition and masquerade

Pummel my cage

I feel the edges of myself splitting, creating permeability 

Where I want to be impermeable

I’m pulled out and out 

Until

I’m no longer sure where I started.


So I turn in.


Sometimes, the inside feels noisy

And the sirens of self doubt and guilt and fear

Rattle my skull 

I feel lost

Disoriented

My head and my heart hurt.


So I turn in.


Further in and in, but out too

As I place a foot here

A hand there

Feel the ground meet my skin

My skin meet the ground.


I get curious

Move

Pause

Feel

Notice.


Practice noticing without adding the stories

Because already there’s enough noise without that.


Of course the stories come anyway


But I turn in

And notice.


The pummel and rattle dull

Distant

Beyond this place of feeling and noticing


Movement 

Stillness

Breath

And that little pause after. And before.


When I turn out again

The anchor point tethering me to my centre

Is a little more firmly lodged

The pummel and rattle 

Quieter now.


Somehow I’m stronger

Yet less rigid


But to get there - 


Softness

Yield

Surrender.


And

Most of all 


Kindness.

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© 2020 by Erica Webb