Rehabilitation of a Yogi: Mindfulness of Body (That One Day Will Be a Corpse)

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

This body will be a corpse, but… not just yet.  I’m certain of it, due to the Sacroiliac Joint Discomfort which has provided a sturdy base of support for my mindfulness of body practice. 

<--break->We are reminded by Ani Pema to ask: since death is certain and the time of death is uncertain what is most important?  The experience of Now.  The present.  Even when now is back pain.  Especially when the present is SI Joint discomfort.

Walking down the street.

Lift up through the belly.

Press down with the feet.

Reclining ChairRelax the tailbone, soften the sacrum into the back.  Your back is your support.  Like a reclining chair.  Except that it’s your own body.  Belly lifts.

Low deep, internal buttresses of muscle and tendon flex to keep the spine in balance with all the curves irrefutably in place.

Choosing the body as the object of our meditation just might save the nation.  You’re welcome.  Don’t mention it.

Right cheek of my bottom is protesting in anger at the tension.  Not pain – just discomfort, a rough-n-tumble sensation.  I come back to this again and again throughout the day.  Relax the shoulders that creep up from the discomfort, the pain.  This dukkha is separate from the sensations in my body.  The dukkha is made up of thoughts.

“Woe is me! When will I feel better?  What did I do to deserve this?  How can I go on like this?  It isn’t fucking fair! Why me?”

“But why NOT me?  Fucking arrogance.  Everyone’s back hurts sometimes, you ninny.  Get back to work.  Get to planning your next yoga class.  You’re teaching in a couple of hours, aren’t you?”

“Ouch.  Oh, woe is me…  When will I feel better?”

I come back to the body, the slight discomfort in my behind. But that’s not all.  In the middle back, tension grips the spine and ribs – the ego holding on tight.  Holding the breath in, holding on to self-identification.

It’s desperation clinging sweetly to the illusion of the self.  Perhaps you recognize this.

It’s as if you played a Christmas Elf in your school play.  And back at home you stubbornly refuse to relinquish your green shorts, smart elf jacket, and stylish pointy shoes.

“No way, man!!!” you scream at your mother.  “I’m not a little girl!  I am a Christmas Elf named Stu.”

And your mother has no idea how to even start arguing with you.

“My back hurts,” is the thought.  The sensation cannot be truly named as language is simply a means of pointing one’s finger at the moon.  Words may be eloquent, noble, and necessary… but so not the moon.


rehab_logoRehabilitation of a Yogi is the story of my quest to find contentment with reality and embrace self care. I battle the demons of Should, Must and Have To as I search for the truth, the Dharma of my relationship with self.  Contact me with questions.

This article was originally published at The Interdependence Project Blog.

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