The other night I went to see Neil LaBute’s latest play “Reasons to be Happy.” It features two male characters. Greg is educated, passive and indecisive. Kent is hot-headed, functionally illiterate and rash.
Each man represents one side of a coin, but until one recognizes the qualities of the other neither one is worth much.
Like LaBute’s play, yoga is about the opposites that live inside all of us. Some of us are influenced by one characteristic and some by its converse. Through our practice we try to first balance these seemingly conflicting characteristics and then we hope to eventually eclipse their causes.
A student recently asked me how she should practice her yoga outside the studio. I said “try to be attentive to these oppositional forces as they take form in your body and mind. How do they play with your emotions?” I suggested she begin a meditation practice to help study this process.
In “Reasons to be Happy” LaBute creates an increasingly unbalanced world where a man is unable to see that his other half lays dormant. When he awakens to its existence he begins a path to wholeness.
The theater of life, right outside our apartments, offices and yoga studios offers the same dramatic transcendent possibilities.