Monday, March 12, 2012

Invisible Reality

I think the hardest thing for people to accept about a yoga lifestyle is that most of the concepts they cannot see with their own eyes. We currently live in probably the most skeptical timeframe ever. Faith is at an all time low. Everything needs to be proven to every individual before they entertain the thought that it is real. Even then, many shrug it off as a coincidence or a trick. I am not judging, as I have been just as guilty as the rest of them on more than one occasion. Think about it - before the wireless Internet existed if someone told you information could be sent hundred of thousands of miles in microseconds through the air and arrive at the other end in tact, would you have believed them? Of course not. That's crazy talk. Information has had the ability to travel through the air since the Earth was born, but it wasn't until someone built devices that could both send and accept that information that we could see for ourselves this concept of something invisible traveling through air was, in fact, "real".

Luckily, I get reminders that some of the most powerful "real" things are invisible. In yoga, we believe in energy. Not the "I'm pooped, I have no energy" type of energy. Moreso the "energy as a tangible thing" type of energy. We talk about directing our energy inward towards a tight hip or outwards towards world peace. We send our energy places by just focusing on the receiver.  

I know, many of you are thinking I'm about to get all new-age on you. I don't mean to. But last week I realized just how much other peoples' energy affects me. I taught the same class twice last week - once to 12 people and then the next day to 37 people. The first class was good, but the second class was electric! Having so many bodies moving and breathing and generating energy, it became a palpable thing in the room. I could feel my own endorphins running wild, and walked out of the room with the same euphoric feeling as having just participated in (instead of taught) an intense yoga class. 

Thinking about it, my favorite classes to participate in are the packed ones. I complain (like everyone else) about being crammed into a sweaty smelly room so close to my neighbor that their sweat often flings onto me. But those are the classes I get the deepest workout. I keep my eyes closed through most of my practice so it isn't that I am watching the others in the room. That isn't why I have a better practice with a more crowded class. But I can feel the energy they are creating and using it to get deeper. Something in my body actually receives the energy they are generating. 

And if I can actually receive it, if it makes a noticeable difference in me, why is it so far-fetched that others could receive it? That if I really focus on someone who is sick, that my energy might not actually make it to them and give them strength? As a society, do we believe that human energy outside of our bodies doesn't exist at all? Or just that we can't direct it with our will? Or that it exists but there is nothing on the receiving end so it just floats up to space? I am just curious why everyone dismisses the idea of human-generated energy  (no matter if it is generated by the body or the mind as thoughts) as capable of making changes to the world around them. Just because it isn't a hammer we can see and touch, doesn't make its impact any less "real". What would need to happen for people to believe that their energy can actually change the world around them?

Just curious.