Face Value

photo Will Ceurvels; models from Saturday morning classes


If feeling unhappy in a pose, or unexpectedly hurt by someone’s random comment, or suddenly uneasy with a stranger or new situation,   it is smart not to take it at face value. Often it is something within the pose, the person, or comment that sparks old hidden fires of fear within.

Like the mind, muscles hold memory. Often ancient, forgotten memories embedded in the muscular structure are triggered by seemingly random events.  Some people believe that they don’t have to be of this life time, but that a karmic triggering can take place when the body is ready. And Yoga is constantly getting us ready.  It is one reason to be aware, and listening to the Practice.  What secrets are being revealed? What layer is being peeled away?  It is one of the main reasons Yoga is used as a healing agent for physical, psychological, and spiritual ills/ imbalances.

Sometimes we meet people we whom we have an instant affinity, others give us chills.  We are foolish beyond belief when we do not pay attention to these signals of ‘high alert,’ for the body has greater access than the brain to the kind of intelligence that is particularly important at a profoundly personal level.

 When we move past the face value of, “I’m tired, I’m uncomfortable, I don’t like this pose, that person bores me,” to question why, we begin a journey for our holy grail.  This grail is the cup holding essential soul-self, and as we effort to strip away outer layers, bypassing assumption, laziness, fear, those band aids placed in strategic positions long ago, we begin our true journey.

Since we are more willing to start up new journeys in January, questions for this road might be:

 1.  Is this person/pose/experience pushing me off balance? How? Why is my center so disturbed I cannot hold the core?

2.  Can I relate this feeling to anything, or anyone else in my life, however silly or inconsequential?  Usually the sillier we label it, the more important it turns out to be.

3. Is there some way I can see, feel, understand from a symbolic POV? 

4. Can I draw it, color it, dress it, sing it?  If so, what/who is beginning to emerge?

 What helps you when working to uncover the uncomfortable?

Very often when we are uncomfortable, off balance, or shocked in small ways we deal with a dis-owned self working to make itself known. These parts were sent away because they were somehow unacceptable, to the parents, or the family.  They softly call us at ‘face value.’ Are we listening? At what level do we hear the message? As we grow more and more present, we begin the detective work of re-integration. Using the layers of a Practice, be it Asana, Pranayama, or meditation, we return to wholeness.

Seasonal Notes

Asana:  Doing poses with friends can give an opportunity to see ourselves differently, for better, or worse.  Learning to leave judgment out of the Practice brings the gift of simply seeing what is; who we are, what is missing, what is in place.  As a good friend, act as guide and follower. Allowing these trade offs we grow more quickly toward wholeness.

Try a set of different poses, create shapes and patterns with one another, begin to see self as part of a whole, and be the whole within a piece.

Health Notes:  When our Practice plays, we stay at it longer, relish it more, and live with it consistently.

Astrology Notes:  On January 20, the Sun moves from Capricorn to Aquarius, shifting from the polarity of Capricorn’s steadfast, hard-working outcomes to anything goes.  Aquarius, ruled by the planet Uranus, is an energy of freedom,, future thought, and unpredictability. Yet it is a fixed sign, along with Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio.  It can be ‘all knowing’ sure that it has the answers, because often it does.  Arrogance can be a tendency here, but so can the desire to help mankind, to move humanity forward. Aquarians are more likely to create unlikely poses with friends, as friendship and peership are part of its birth mantra.

Ayurvedic Notes: Like Aquarius, Vata is an air energy and all air energies require grounding, especially time spent in and with the body.  Air energies can not only be spaced out, but unrealistic, living in thoughts about things, not the things themselves.  When Vata is overly predominant, like having too many air signs in a chart, imbalances such as insomnia, rapid mood shifts, being reactive, having confused perception, even alienation can manifest.  Simple grounding practices can include keeping a regular Yoga or physical Practice, eating more root foods, keeping regular hours, sharing life with good friends who keep us on track.



I love the photo! I wish I had started yoga 30 years ago as bending like that beginning now is most likely out of the question. I also love the reminder about people and memories. It is so wise not to react immediately but to think about what caused the reaction. What wonderful wisdom you give to us. I am also beginning to realize that most of mankind has some form of issues and we need to be more tolerant of each other because we all have a history and usually react from it until we can accept what it is, put it to rest and move on. Thank you, thank you for helping us delve deeper inside ourselves.

Mags bags

Such beautiful writing and what a photo from your class, talk about poses with friends! Reminds me that we are all part of the wheel, turning, a different view opening as we turn. Thank you for your wonderful site/(in)sight!


It is a great photo, no? and we had such fun doing it, seeing it from different angles, each one taking odd positions. We experienced a wonderful Yoga-fest of laughter and creativity as we saw ourselves with and for and from one another. So glad you took time to notice and comment. Merci et bissous, cherie.



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