Kaleidoscope Yoga: The universal heart and the individual self.
We, as humanity, make up together a mosaic of beautiful colors and shapes that can harmoniously play together in endless combinations. We are an ever-changing play of shape and form. A kaleidoscope consists of a tube (or container), mirrors, pieces of glass (or beads or precious stones), sunlight, and someone to turn it and observe and enjoy the forms. Metaphorically, perhaps the sun represents the divine light, or spark of life, within all of us. The mirrors represent our ability to serve as mirrors for one another and each other’s alignment, reflecting sides of ourselves that we may not have been aware of. The tube (or container) is the practice of community yoga. We, as human beings, are the glass, the beads, the precious stones. The facilitator is the person turning the Kaleidoscope, initiating the changing patterns. And the resulting beauty of the shapes? Well, that’s for everyone to enjoy...
Coming into a practice and an energy field of community yoga over and over, is a practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment, to the person in front of you, to the people around you, to your body, to others’ bodies, to your energy, to others’ energy, to your breath, to others’ breath.
[...] community yoga practice can help us, in a very real, practical, grounded, felt, somatic way, to identify and be in harmony with all that is around us, which includes all of our fellow human beings.
We are all multiple selves. We are all infinite. We are all universal selves. We are all unique expressions of the universal heart and universal energy. We are all the universal self. We are all one another. And we are all also unique specific individuals. And to the extent that we practice this, somatically, we become more and more comfortable and fluid with this larger, more cosmic, more inter-related reality. We see and feel and breathe ourselves, more and more, as the open movement of energy, as open somatic possibility. As energy and breath. This is one of the many benefits of a community yoga practice. Kaleidoscope shows us, in a very practical way, how to allow universal patterns of wisdom and interconnectedness to filter through us. [...]
One of the most interesting paradoxes I have encountered during my involvement with the community yoga project (and it is one that I have felt again and again, too many times to count) is the paradox that many of the most infinite, universal forms have come to me in a place of absolute solitude, silence, deep aloneness or meditation. And, similarly, conversely and complimentarily, (best not to get stuck on the words) I have often found myself in the midst of a huge crowd or group of people of seamlessly flowing forms, and felt simultaneously, in addition to the group energy, the group shape, and the group awareness, myself as a very cleanly and clearly defined, very particular, individual self. These moments and discoveries and journeys of group awareness, in addition to the sense of cosmic expansion, have also clarified more strongly my sense of a very specific, rooted, personal self.
The more deeply I dive into the universal heart, the more clearly I see my own place in it. And the more deeply I tune in and connect with my own true personal self, the more open and available I am to a larger, more universal self.
We are both, universal heart and universal self. Individual heart and individual self. We are, or have the capacity for, or however you choose to put it, simultaneous layers of awareness. Learning to feel and navigate and mediate between these different kinds and layers of awareness is one of the great joys of Kaleidoscope Community Yoga, and of life in general.
Come join us, and see what that feels like, in your body, again and again.
From the Preface of Kaleidoscope Community Yoga: The Art of Connecting: The First 108 Poses
Lo Nathamundi (Kaleidoscope Community Yoga (The Art of Connecting Series) Book One: The First 108 poses)