Thursday, April 19, 2007


Descartes said something like "I think therefore I am”. I would change that to "I ache therefore I am". The greatest indication that I am alive and feeling something is the aches and pains I experience. Sure, we can take aspirin to dull them away or keep so busy and on the move that we don't often become aware of the aches, but they are always there, waiting to enter consciousness in some unguarded moment, or during those moments of quiet, stillness, and rest. I often wonder what life would be like without ache.

Aches tell us something about ourselves that is basic and fundamental. When we ache and know it, we are experiencing our kinesthetic sense. Kinesthesia is our sense of the inner body; it tells us where we are tense, stiff, strained, and distorted. This is the physics of our selves. This is our view of biological energy and where it is healthy and flowing or where it is blocked. And where it is blocked is where we ache.

Ache can be our guide. When we exercise we usually impose some predetermined pattern of movement on our bodies. Muscles are worked as if they were part of a machine; to watch someone exercise does look, too often, like a machine at work. Letting the ache, the kinesthetic sense, guide you is a creative and therapeutic process. How you move is prompted, then, by how you feel. You are attempting to relieve the ache, tension, and stiffness you feel in your body.

For years I have thought, and taught, that this was the essence of a yoga practice, the more physical component of a practice. Yoga can start like an exercise but, if it can evolve, it becomes a creative and therapeutic process of discovering where we ache and inventing ways to relieve it.

1 comment:

Joel said...

Way to go, Allan!