During this time of renewal and regeneration, we become acutely aware of our fragility.
Not only our bones lose density and become lighter and more prone to fracture, our ego becomes brittle too.
We feel very emotional, exposed, often fight back tears, insensitive remarks hurt us more than before.
Perhaps it is this awareness of our fragility that prompts some of us to seek a safe place, a comforting place with no surprises. We may withdraw into it and lose our curiosity, become too scared of challenges and just accept the status quo.
And yet this awareness of our fragility is one of the most authentic discoveries human beings make about their lives.
Our fragility is a fact, perhaps the first fact about ourselves that we discover if we look at ourselves naked, without the props of status, money, borrowed or purchased identities.
How are we to deal with this sobering fact?
Yoga shows us the way. Yoga philosophy, like Buddhism, stresses impermanence, interconnectedness, and non-self.
Albert Einstein, not a Yogi and yet perfectly in tune with yogic beliefs, once wrote:
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole (of) nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
The “inner security” Einstein talks about comes from seeing things as they really are, and from stripping away the “optical delusion of consciousness.”
Yoga helps us, through a process of reflection, to transcend and liberate ourselves from delusion so that we can see ourselves more clearly as we really are, and to find a surer footing for our security than the shifting sands of misperception.
CHILD POSE - Balasana