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Nov 2015

"How can you know God if you don't know your big toe?"

I've always loved this pithy statement by the great yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar, renowned for his focus on alignment. I take it to be a call for his students to come down from their lofty ideals for self-discovery. Long enough, at least, to notice its tangible foundation - their actual body.

In a perhaps similar way, I am finding in the frustrating and mesmerizing dance of tango a similar call - but this time to discover relationship.

"How can you know the other if you keep stepping on their foot?" might the teacher of tango bemoan.

Twenty years of yoga has taught me so much about myself. And much of that is of course the foundation of relationship - self-awareness. But the last year of tango has felt like an accelerated course in really perceiving the 'otherness' of that special person in your life. And by special person I mean the only person you are actually, tangibly, physically in relationship with right now - the one who is in front of you! In bed. On the bus. At that difficult conversation at work. Or - in the case below - sitting without words at a rest break on the circuit of Mt Kailash.

(Tibet - 2013)

Where are they right now? Specifically. Which way are they facing? Are they stationary, moving, preparing to step?

And how am I facing them - or not?

And what is their experience of this shared moment?

I am giving a talk on Tango and Yoga 11/21 at 6pm at Ombase yoga studio - it will include a chance to listen and walk to the music, to see a simple dance (not a performance, just a social connected dance) and to reflect on what this movement form - dance - can teach about aligning ourselves with the other in relationship. 

Namaste - Eugene