Facebook + Me = Backbends + Fractals

We are all fractals* and part of Mandelbrot's magical image. 

Today, August 14,  I dropped back into Urdhva Dhanurasana (backbend) unassisted. Quiet hurrah.

Only a small cheer because I haven't been able to do a drop back without one of my teachers, Nicky Murphy, standing nearby and watching, which is a (lovely) form of assistance. At home—as I hover upside down and backwards—it seems I am miles from the floor. Yikes, this is impossible! I lose my nerve and pop up. 

Nevertheless, slowly, very slowly it all may be coming. 

Practice and all is coming. 
-Patabhi Jois. 

I see the truth of that, Guruji. Right now, I am feeling happy and a little victorious because until recently, I had never been truly challenged by my Ashtanga practice. Dealing with a stopper—has been, well—an astounding opportunity to observe physical and emotional states of ALL kinds. 

So maybe in mini celebration I'll post a video of my backbend on Facebook. What? Facebook? Isn't it a superficial ego forum and a waste of time? 

Perhaps not. 

An acquaintance from Mysore now back in the USA, posted something reflective today: 
I feel like there is too much serious shit going on in the world right now for me to post about my yoga classes, or cute animal pictures, or great things that I eat. I feel helpless and it's bumming me out.
Indeed, I think. Look at Ferguson, Missouri, the Middle East, the children stuck in Texas. The suffering, the conflict, everywhere. To face it is heartbreaking and our helplessness, overwhelming. I reply that microcosmically if we sincerely do our yoga and meditation practices, we are doing something. 

However, later something more, a Zen phrase, arises:

Buddha nature pervades the whole universe
existing right here and now.
I dedicate the merits of this practice 
to all sentient beings.
Together we will realize liberation.

I start to cry. 

And what are the merits of this practice? Dropping back? Maybe. Maybe not. More, I think—the blessings of wisdom gained via the angst, joy, and sweat on our mats and taking the "me" out of backbend and everything else. With joy I return energy to the whole and celebrate the merit of others.

I hereby dedicate any and all grace received to the people of Ferguson, children everywhere, and to all suffering sentient beings, animals included.

And this too is Yoga. 

Finally, micro-me is still around just the same, wanting to post a photo or video of that insignificant  backbend. (It is such a sweet, little breakthrough.) 

And this too is Yoga.


*fractal: a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the wholeThe Mandelbrot image above is a set intricate never-ending shapes.

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