Be The Exception
Following rules is not what makes you...it is the exceptions that define you.
Exceptions expose a part that aches to be seen...to break free of restrictions...breathe with ease. Rules maintain a sense of order...balance integrity to a degree. Keeps the proverbial house in order. Exceptions present themselves to balance and expand life's bridges of connections.
Above your shoulders, resides a 3 pound brain meshed with millions of synaptic connections built by conscious and subconscious actions. Two totally different hemispheres in play. Left hemisphere...analytical, logical, linear dominant. Right hemisphere...intuitive dream weaver of awareness. Both unite via bridge of the corpus callosum. A neurological yin and yang of work enabling communication between these two neighbors.
And, you have an intraconnected extension network in your digestive tract. The 'butterflies' you feel in your belly are neurons fluttering to tell you something while the two neighbors upstairs are debating what hormone or neurotransmitter to release. So, the 'second brain' down South gets busy releasing the hormones it feels is right without wasting time thinking about it. Don't forget the heart. It too, has a 'mind' of its own totally capable of letting you feel what it is thinking. Your body's brilliant design to notice exceptions. It is best to listen to what you feel.
Exceptions are conscious pauses of programmed actions. Moments you don't calculate potential gains or losses. An exception to your list of rules sparks change. History clearly reflects change catapulted by exceptional individuals. They dared to break the established rules. "Experts" declared the world flat; thus, the masses accepted it. Experts declared the Earth to be the center of the universe; and the masses accepted it. Experts write and re-write history and the masses believe it. Experts have declared one race...one religion...one whatever...the best one and the past is proof the majority followed. Past and present experts have been proven wrong; but, it took an individual or small group to be the exception.
It's easier not to question. It demands courage to wonder outside the lines. It's risky business. And, it is those who instinctively knew the benefits outweighed the possible loss that have made a forever etch above and beyond linear time. Living beyond rules that suppress you from evolving is liberating. Actions contingent on projected results limit you. Exceptions void of contingencies are organic thoughts that can turn the pages of bookmarked fears.
Exceptions necessitate the temporary paralysis of the left hemisphere. It talks too much...it never shuts up...the right hemisphere is not going to yell to be heard. But, it will haunt you like a ghost with OCD the longer you ignore it. The heart and belly can either flutter or ache. Depends on the energy in motion.
There's no in between rules and exceptions. Like skydiving, either you inhale and exhale while jumping out to touch the sky or stay in the plane staring out the window watching those who tell sanity to try a tandem perspective.
Yoga, a physical, emotional and spiritual practice has expanded like a spider web's matrix. So many styles declaring "this" is how to really practice. The specified difference of benefits lures one ready to break free of possibly personal entrapment and delves into the novelty of another place within. It's reassuring, comforting, a stroke to the ego to be with like-minded. Nothing wrong with that. The authentic nature of freedom is restricted when invisible lines of rules are drawn and accepted. Yoga exposes your vulnerable self to look deep in the eyes. Maybe even let others see beneath the surface. A defined practice philosophy gives you something to hold onto, aspire for and to keep the left hemisphere satiated. The rules give definition. Exceptions add character.
Yogis, not limited to age or gender, first inquiry to another fellow yogi is "what style do you practice?" Each give a specific name and usually link their teacher of status as an addendum. For me, it has become similar to the question of earlier years, what church do you go to? (translation: are you Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, etc.) Similar, yet different in some way, identities are made by association. At a quintessential level, all is good. It's when the stake of superiority pierces the ground claiming first right of refusal that division surfaces.
I've experienced it first hand a few times. Not moving or holding a physical pose in a well-defined stance invited corrections based on authoritative beliefs. Or, the gaze of eyes projecting a dash of pity for my lack of skill in their style. Evaluating their yoga style while practicing didn't even cross my mind until they evaluated me. Being less concerned about what others think is a gift of age and experience. What concerns me is the younger minds that are placed in a competitive corner. I don't want them to seek perfection as defined by someone else...by not moving or thinking outside the current room's door. I hope for more to know they are exceptional whether they are on the mat or not. And, I hope more see and lovingly acknowledge their fellow exceptions with a smile in their eyes. When that happens, the two hemispheres, the heart and the gut won't have much to banter about.
Some may disagree; but, I'd rather be the exception than the rule.