Freedom to Fly – An Experience
Yoga practice suggests the possibility of (more) freedom from our conditioned selves. Our experience along the way may be varied, profound or even exceptional. It seems to me that the ultimate freedom invites us to fly (internally) and that this kind of experience can wipe the slate clean, at least for the time being!
Practice is binding when freedom is impeded by thoughts, feelings, ideas, methods, and constructs that arise from, and are connected to, the practice. In other words we are subjected to continual and endless activity as each thought, tension, idea, action, sensory recognition and recording is replaced by the next in line. We inevitably pay the price for consciousness awareness and all that comes with it.
The hard-core traditional yogis pointed towards an experience that involved a continual stream of consciousness without attachment or interruption – an ultimate freedom from everything – -a lofty aspiration but we may taste this experience through the body. Entering into, and passing through, physical sensation can free us from ourselves. The quality of body sensation affects us on all levels. Stiffness and ideation make us feel heavy and dull, fluid sensations give us mental fluidity, and spatial sensations make us feel light. The sensation of space is an essential element in feeling free and is the main ingredient needed to fly (from the grip of ourselves). Freedom from analysis, comparison, recognition and recording feels like flight, the feeling of unlimited space on the move.
We can fly through soft tissue tension and mental turbulence from the space within us, flying is a movement from inside out. The inner and untouchable yoga space (the Kernel) ,opens out and passes through all the experience that surrounds it.
How do we do this? We open up the body spaces and discover that cavities (abdominal, thoracic and pelvic) are active. We breathe into and from our inner space. At first this may not be so forthcoming because many of us can be heavily conditioned in these areas. But freedom from the self, and the potential to fly, occurs when we separate the pelvis and thorax, when they slide apart from each other, when it feels as if we have no spine, when all the body cavities open spatially, when we slip from the exhalation, into a place so deeply inside us, that our conditioned awareness cannot follow there, a place where the rational mind can only yield its grip and recede, a place where there is no controlling factor, a place where thought is unwelcome, where there is nothing other than what is.
The promise is there, at the end of the exhale, when the depth of gravitation is most profound – just before the rebound into lightness returns, just before and as the inhalation arrives. We may ‘take off’ and leave the practice, its sensations and mental constructs behind. We can fly from our self and its habitual complexities as we pass through soft tissue tension, the breath and the space inside us. We surf inner space, while the self, the soul and the spirit take flight.
We cannot loosen the bindings for long, if at all! Identity and its derivatives spring back as if on a piece of elastic. Letting go to no-thing-ness and to total freedom constantly eludes us. It may simply be a matter of choice When we foster the polarity between ‘being here and flight from here’ we can choose to let go, to give ourselves up or not , but identity may be stronger than we realize.
As inner space opens up, a smooth and gentle explosion from within loosens formulaic thought and sensory impressions in its wake. Everything that is perceived becomes external to the infinite space from which we fly. We are taken by a sense of unbound freedom as we pass through and beyond ourselves. All psychological activity, all emotional and physical sensation, is rendered external to the deep space from which we take off. The slate is cleaned momentarily as we offer the spirit the movement of flight. We fly through and beyond the tension of us and become an animate expression of freedom!