Finding Ease within the Bind

Warning: This is a rambling post ~ pretty much within my nature…

This concept often comes up in my hot yoga class – finding ease within the bind. But what does it mean? In terms of postures, it simply means being able to relax in binding move, such as Wind Removing Pose (it’s ok to giggle, and believe me no one is removing their wind during the posture that I’ve noticed).

Yes, flatulence is funny

Yes, flatulence is funny

At this point in the 26 posture series, you’ve been giving it your all in standing, balancing postures for 50 minutes – you’ve just gotten to the floor and chances are you’re a hot, possibly fatigued, mess. Try holding your legs like that when you’re absolutely drenched in sweat, believe me, it ain’t easy. But this is exactly where learning to find ease within the bind comes in; learning to relax and/or make small changes that allow for ease when circumstances aren’t easy. Beyond the hot room, it is trying to make small changes in stressful situations so you can find ease.  It seems like an easy concept but it is very, very, very challenging to put in to practice (at least for me).

I find in life, that I cannot find ease within the bind if I’m struggling against my nature.  There are plenty of situations that arise that are difficult to begin with, but if I’m trying to do something that goes against my natural inclinations I’m just making that situation more stressful and cannot find relief. I’m going against the grain; struggling unnecessarily to try to achieve something in a way that does not compliment my nature and just leads to frustration. In that situation, I cannot find ease within the bind.  I cannot relax enough because I have created unnecessary stress in an already stressful situation.   I can cope with the original stress but only if I go about it a way that works for me (but maybe not for you). We can both arrive at the same destination, but we might have divergently different paths.

This concept really crystalized with me when I started to love house painting.  I dreaded it before because I am one of those people that ends up stepping in the paint tray, dripping on the floor, painting myself, plus I don’t have a fine hand at edges. My mother-in-law and husband, they both can edge a wall and not get a speck of paint on themselves or the ceiling – no masking off necessary.  I tried –really tried to ‘be neater’ but it was totally going against my nature – my gross motor skills are GREAT but my fine motor skills…well, not so much.   So instead of TRYING to be something I’m not and continually feeling like a failure – and forget any ease within that bind, I changed my bind. I realized that my nature is to be sort of totally inclined to spill and splatter. So I decided to spend a lot of time prepping the painting area.  I mask off EVERYTHING and use copious amounts of drop cloths, watch for wall drips and put my supplies well out of my way as I maneuver about the room. So instead of trying to adapt to a style that doesn’t suit me, I found my own style.  I found ease within the bind.  The bind, in this case, being a splattery painter and the ease making the area around me forgiving of that inclination. Now I look forward to painting and people even hire me to paint their walls. Who would have thought?

The other night I was talking with one of my friends (who I just adore) – we were discussing some ideas he’s had for various business ventures. Although the ideas were sound, he never implemented them – but rather shared them with others (and some of those ideas have panned out for them). Why? He was not inclined to become ‘married’ to a business that would keep him rooted in one place.  You see he’s a one of those people that is constantly moving about – seeking change. Needing change.  When something becomes too familiar, he feels he’s in a rut.  Being in one place too long goes against his nature.  I call him my itinerant, peripatetic friend.   Our natures are completely opposite in this aspect.  I dread starting new jobs, making big moves- he can jump into something different at the drop of a hat.

In his life, it’s created some stress for him – he’s under pressure to settle down, start a family, put down roots – fit within the mold of mainstream life.   But why? Why should he have to go against his nature? Why does everyone expect him to change to satisfy them?  That is not his makeup – that is not his nature. For him to continue to struggle against that nature, especially for other people’s benefit, will always cause him angst. How does he find ease within that bind?  It comes through small adjustments.  He goes – he comes back…he stays for a bit – then goes but comes back again.

Intimate relationships? That’s a bit harder – but he will eventually meet someone that has that same nomadic spirit.  Either they will travel together or travel apart always to come back together at some point.  At least that’s how I envision it for him.  Ironically, that wandering spirit, which is a very attractive quality about him, is probably often the point of contention later on for the one that was attracted.  I would imagine that for some, that they convince themselves that he will ‘change’ for them or rather that they will be the one that can ‘change’ him and ultimately only frustration and disappointment can ensue.  His nature is not going to change.  He is who he is – he follows his nature to find ease within the bind.

In my opinion, this life we live is about realizing our nature and adapting to our environment in a way that works with those inclinations.  Not ‘fixing’ ourselves, like so many self-help gurus would want us to do because we are not ‘broken’ to begin with.  Or following the ’10 Habits of <insert any adjective> People’.  That can only lead to constant dissatisfaction about our nature – we need to accept what we are and learn to make small changes to find ease in the world around us.  That is what will inspire us, that is what will calm the inner turmoil and allow for peace.  That is what will ripple out to touch and inspire others.  That will allow us to find ease within the bind.

I leave you with Firewater

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Bikram Yoga, Health, Mental Health, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, Relationships, Society, Yoga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Finding Ease within the Bind

  1. Paul says:

    Well said Rutabaga, you’d make a lousy potato.

  2. Reblogged this on The Mercenary Researcher and commented:

    Greetings People,
    I’m the master of ‘the reblog’ so I’m going with it. I have a thumb injury with a stupid splint (it looks way more dramatic than it is) and it’s harder to type than normal…and I’m getting ready to resume my hot Yoga practice after a 2 week hiatus. Thus I’m a bit nervous…so this is a fitting post to resurrect.

  3. Very interesting thoughts. I often create stress in my life now that I think about it. However, getting rid of it will be difficult to know how to get rid of it. Anyway, thanks for the deep insight! Yoga can bring up very interesting ideas, can’t it?

  4. praw27 says:

    I, too, am a “messy painter.” I, too, love to paint. I, too, have spent way too much of my life buying self-help books. I, too, have stopped trying to “fit the mold.” I, too, enjoy life more. I, too, love the analogies you used! Thanks!

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    “I’m going against the grain; struggling unnecessarily to try to achieve something in a way that does not compliment my nature and just leads to frustration.”—I think this is a reason why many people end up hating their job. The work goes against their true nature, and therefore every day is a struggle just to maintain the fight. Those who find something that flows in the same direction as their nature are fortunate. And probably a lot more at peace, too.

    • DING! DING! DING! You and I are in 100% agreement. I was going to use a work related example but then found myself over 1,000 words and decided I needed to wrap it up before it got too long.

      I have been fortunate to have found a job that I flow with! And it sounds like you have too – doctoring and writing.

  6. Ya got me on this one. This is the struggle that usually pins me down…binds me if you will in many ways. I spent a life trying to be something I thought I should be – to appease you, to make you like me. In that chameleon-like life, I eventually forgot who I was. Totally. My recovery is allowing me to get in touch with that person. I am far from where I would like to be, but since “patience” is my key word for the year, I will trust the process.

    Being true to ourselves…wow, what a concept. Some find it easier than others, I suppose. To me, everyone has it down pat, but I know that is not the real truth. Many struggle. I struggle with this. I am often trying to find the “right” way to do things. Sometimes, when I am more centered, I find that my way is just my way. Not right nor wrong. Just how I do it. If I am willing to bend and understand others in their ways, why don’t I give myself that same consideration? Good question. I have some answers, but that’s for another day 🙂

    This is a wonderful, brilliant post, my friend. I really enjoyed this…awesome. thank you for sharing this.


    • We are far too hard on ourselves – we would never talk to another person as we talk to ourselves nor treat them the way we treat ourselves.

      But I think there is a lot to be said for trying to give up the concept of ‘right/wrong/good/bad’ – some things just ‘are’ – the way we go about it, is the way we go about it. I find it hard to remember that it’s not my way or the highway.

      I always think everyone has everything down pat, too…and I’m often flabbergasted when I find that the outside appearance is masking the turmoil within. Yet, I fall for it every time!

      At one time, I didn’t even know how to know if I was my ‘true’ self – It took a long time to trust my own instincts b/c I felt I made so many really bad decisions – it’s been the hardest thing to cope with especially now that i have child that relies on me to make good decisions in his stead for some things. Oi – trust in one’s self is difficult.

  7. El Guapo says:

    I do the mental equivalent of the bind thing. A deep breath, then look back at the problem to find a workaround.
    The world is a better place when we can approach it in the way that works for us, regardless of what the guidebooks say.

    (Firewater sounds like a gothic they Might Be Giants.)

    • Hee hee – I like that description of Firewater~

      I love a good workaround – it’s the only thing that gets me by at times.

      Most of the bind thing is about the mental aspect – recognizing what stress is what and making small internal (which then can become external) changes. You get a lot of good ‘ah-ha’ moments like that.

  8. Twindaddy says:

    We all have our own drumbeat and instead of trying to change that beat we should embrace the beat we have, so long as it’s not destructive. You shouldn’t attempt to change unless it’s change that YOU want. Changing because others tell you to is pointless.

  9. Tara says:

    This is lovely! And, the nurses taught me that pose after my operation.

  10. NotAPunkRocker says:

    “if I’m trying to do something that goes against my natural inclinations I’m just making that situation more stressful and cannot find relief”

    This is my life now. Thank you for these words today, I need to find that balance and not live with the constant tension.

    • I think the hardest part of letting go and feeling ease is the guilt we might feel with being ‘ok’ – especially if we live feeling in constant turmoil from the world around us.

      Sometimes it’s the little changes within that make the biggest impact without. Being thoughtful, like you are, is a great step towards those changes. You are already everything you need to be, to be fabulous. 🙂

  11. Brilliant post. I’ve always put unnecessary pressure on myself to work within someone else’s constraints. I’ve gotten a lot better at doing what works for me and giving myself permission to approach stress differently but I still find that I judge myself for doing it “wrong”. I love your painting experience! What it comes down to for me is that I often want to do things in a way that look good on the outside (for approval) but feel bad on the inside. You’ve given me a lot to ponder.

    • I think we all struggle with that – I know I have.. we have to appear to the outside world as X b/c that is what is ‘expected’ of us…

      I think there is a lot less bad/good/right/wrong in this world than we think. We have so much trouble just BEING and allowing others to just BE – for such a simple concept, it’s so hard to put into practice.

      For what it is worth – you do a pretty fantastic job of being you 🙂

Divulge your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s