I guess it's not any wonder that music has always meant so much to me, as it does so many people. Most song lyrics don't stand up on their own, but the marriage between text and music has always been such a source of comfort and occasionally even insight to me.
There's a little stanza from a Bright Eyes song that hit me like lightening the first time I heard it. In the song, the singer takes a bit of a journey, loosely centered on the idea of human suffering and his yearning to ease the pain of others. At the end of "A Bowl of Oranges," the singer writes of his realization:
"If the world could remain within a frame, like a painting on a wall,
Then I think we'd see the beauty there, and stand staring in awe
At our still lives, posed, like a bowl of oranges..."
Not too shabby for a 22-year-old kid, huh?
So... the connection to yoga. I find myself thinking of this line now and then in savasana. I've been feeling pretty frustrated with myself in class recently, and I've been trying to figure out why. I had a realization recently after class that kinda troubled me. I kept noticing that classes taught by a certain instructor--who actually happens to be my favorite instructor--were the hardest, the most physically torturous, and ones where I consistently felt I "had bad classes." I finally realized what the problem was: this is the teacher that knows me the best. She knows what I'm capable of, and instead of letting this be a good thing, I let it intimidate the heck out of me. I think, "Oh, it's teacher X today. I have to have a good class. I have to show her that I'm progressing, that I'm being a good yogi." I'm not going to even go much further into analyzing the problems of this way of thinking and what it reveals about my personality--I've already said too much ;-) It's not her teaching; it's the expectations I'm putting on myself that get me all worked up!
When done right, though, doing yoga is like slapping one big frame around the moment. It is supposed to still the outside noise. Nothing except yourself in the posture even exists. It's just yourself, posed, like the bowl of oranges. In my case, I have weird insecurities like the desire to please the teacher--we all have different tendencies. But how outside the frame of the yoga is that? How outside the scope of reality in general is that? What incredibly ridiculous things we take into the hot room.
I haven't had a class with that teacher since I've had this little realization, but I can't help but think a little awareness is likely to be a good thing! Hope you enjoy Bright Eyes. The sound quality's not great--hopefully you can hear the words!
Bright Eyes: "Bowl of Oranges"