Stay Curious

I repeat myself in class, constantly. I have no idea whether or not this bores my students, as no one has told me so. Incidentally, no one has told me that my class keeps them on the edge of their mat, either. Can you guess that the title of this piece is something I say over and over again?

“Stay curious!”

At home, I reply to my children’s complaints of feeling stranded in a sea of boredom with, “You’re bored? Wonderful! It’s great to be bored! It allows you to do so many wonderful things like think, and imagine, and not think, and pretend, and do nothing!”

Bent leg Uttanasana (Forward Fold) with blocks for support.

Staying curious on our yoga mat is a beautiful way to access our muscles, to listen to our bodies through the language of sensation.  Consider what it would be like to twist away from the bent/front leg rather than toward it.  Try exhaling in cow pose and inhaling in cat pose.  Staying curious is also a sweet way to access the muscles we use to suspend judgement, the muscles of gentleness, kindness, patience, and benevolence.  Consider what it would be like to laugh when you fall out of Twisting Half Moon Pose (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana), or out of Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) for that matter(!)  Try waiting for the pose to unfold and open the body in its own time, and feel what that’s like to feel that.

Moving into Virabhdrasana III (Warrior Pose III) with blocks for support.

Off the mat, we might stay curious about our reactions to our circumstances, such as the way we bristle at a friend’s comment, or realize our vanity is alive and well when we wish someone hadn’t posted a specific picture of us on social media.  Additionally, we can try out really listening to the person who is talking to us, being attentive to what they are saying without thinking about our own next word, sentence, or thought.  We can be curious about responses we label as negative, and we might learn something new about ourselves.  Conversely, when we look closely at things we categorize as positive, at what brings us joy, we might end up finding more of it.

This kind of curiosity has the capacity to bring us into new experiences of ourselves, and new wisdom, and I’m all for that.

May you be blessed with enough in all things.

Happy Gaudete week, Happy Rejoicing, Happy Practicing!

The Catholic Yogi