I came back to my mat several years ago as a way to get back in touch with myself. I became lost in the day to day struggles that came up. I lost touch with my empathy, spirituality, and purpose. Things that were once important to me were put aside for others’ needs, both personally and professionally.
In one of the first classes I took all those years ago, our teacher kept repeating these works “No Rules”. Her words continue to repeat back in my off and on over the years…..“No Rules”.
No Rules – anything goes.
Sounds so simple. What would life be like if there were no rules? Sounds chaotic, right?
When I think about not just the last few years, but almost all of my life, I’ve been surrounded by rules. They could have different labels – manners, goals, boundaries.
This week in my chakra exercises, a similar theme has come up. The theme was to think about what sayings have you lived by, what beliefs have been passed to you by family, and what patterns can you uncover that may reveal defense mechanisms.
It’s a sobering thought, particularly when I look at how I view and interact in different experiences. It can be a weird, wonderful, and sometimes scary combination of “No Rules” and “Boundaries”.
In general, there are “No Rules”. Everyone has the freedom to explore in way that’s comfortable for them. I love the saying from yoga philosophy “exploration of the self, by the self, through the self”.
The boundaries come into play when you are with individuals. That’s where Ashimsa, non-violence and compassion, comes into play. Boundaries support our inner peace while respecting the paths of others around us.
The challenge comes in when negotiating boundaries with someone else or even multiple people. How can I really know if a boundary is created to either protect me from unsafe situations, something I don’t resonate with, or from fear? The first two should be respected. The last can be harder to manage. Fear can be due to uncertainty of the unknown, previous experiences, or beliefs from childhood.
These are just some of the questions that can be explored on your mat. Each time, we come to our mat is a new experience. A new question to explore. Whether we are exploring our poses, our thoughts, our emotions. A new question.
Each time we come to the mat, we are different people standing in a unique moment of time – one that will never come again. The answer may change to fit with where we are in that moment.
What a beautiful thought.