Saturday, July 23, 2016

Order v Movement

If the world is divided simplistically into Conservatives (Order) and Liberals (Movement), I would normally fall towards the choice of movement. In truth though, I am actually quite a rule abiding guy. I drive like Miss Daisy, more keen on getting myself and my passengers to the destination alive than fast. I am very punctual, not wanting to waste other people's time by being late. I don't swear in front of friends who don't swear. I adjust my behaviour to be polite to whoever I am with. 

A great example of where I see value in Conservatism is the choice of Yoga I do. Sivananda Yoga is very traditional. Loose fitting clothing covering shoulders and ankles. The room is not heated. The 12 core postures practised in the Asana classes are simple and the same as have been done for thousands of years. They aren't looking to change. The lessons are the lessons that have been built up slowly and patiently. The only concession the Swami who brought the style of Yoga to Europe and North America made was to shift the breathing exercises from the end of the standard class to the beginning. This was because too many students who were just keen on the 'physical exercises' would get up and leave.

The most difficult students to teach are the ones who have learnt other styles of Yoga and come in very resistant to any correction. Unless they are disrupting a class, there is no real point in trying to teach them anything else. It is best to just let them be. There is no attempt to say 'this is a superior way'. It is just the way things are done at the Sivananda centres. It is a beautiful way. If however, you choose another way and you aren't hurting anybody... it's all good.

I do like the fact that there is a place I can go to practise my yoga where there is no alcohol, no meat, no loud music, no sexy clothing and a sense of pervading calm. I do drink. I do eat meat. I like music. I love sexy clothing. The reality is that some things are best kept holy. I don't think holy has to be synonymous with true. I think it is a form of consistency. A form of value. Like we don't mix all our favourite foods in a bucket with a wafer thin mint.

Yummy Meat Free Food

Order and movement don't need to be in opposition. It shouldn't be a simplistic either or. The world is more grey than that. They world is more beautiful than that. Somehow we need to find a way to listen to each other and build a world that considers us all. Not a world where we impose ourselves on each other when we are positioned to dominate.

A world where we empower each other.

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