The Mind of the Explorer
Today's post is about mindset, namely, approaching your yoga practice with the "mind of the explorer". As I've said before, at its heart, the path of yoga is a discipline of mindful and consistent Self inquiry. The whole point is to seek and consciously integrate deeper and more refined levels of Self awareness.
In order to begin this process, we must first admit that there are areas of ourselves and levels of awareness which we have never consciously experienced. Thus, if we've never experienced them, then we can't know what they will feel like. Someone can describe an experience such as this, but we never truly know until we "embody-mind" it ourselves. As a simple example, a million people could tell you how an orange tastes, but you will never know it until you taste it yourself.
This brings us back to having the "mind of the explorer" during our practice. If we are "exploring" our practice in a mindful way, then we must admit before we begin our practice that we don't truly know what we'll "see" or experience. In other words, explorers do not know what they'll find around the next bend or corner...that's why they are exploring. They are seeking experiences and knowledge which they did not possess before the exploration began.
This is a very helpful attitude to foster in our meditation and asana practice. Even though you may have have done a particular sequence or asana innumerable times, it has NEVER been the same experience for you. Your body changes every instant; thus the experience of your body is constantly changing as well. This is the cosmic flow; and when a new experience is found and subsequently integrated within the body-mind we grow and expand our awareness. In order to find those new experiences we must explore and look around the next bend with a truly open mind versus trying to pre-determine or pre-judge what you'll find and how it will feel.
This is a powerful way to keep your daily practice fresh and alive. Approach the daily practice "knowing" that it has the potential to be completely new and alive to you in ways you've never experienced. Be a daily explorer of your practice and revel in the process of looking around the next bend with a calm and peaceful certainty that new and deeper insights and Self awareness await you.