Continuing my action plan which I took away from last practice – diving deeper into my five senses whether in the yoga practice or my daily life – I further realized that if we intend to change or transform, we definitely have to open our senses and connect to everything and everyone around us. We absolutely can not be isolated, cut off all connections, and only cope with these issues using our intellect. If we do so, we will likely get stuck somewhere and spiral around in circles. This led to my realization that acceptance is like a switch. If we switch on the acceptance button and become aware of something, we can connect to a given situation with multiple senses. No matter where we are or what is happening, it is crucially important to observe as a detached observer. Bearing witness this way releases us from judgment. By contrast, if we are aware of something but switch off the acceptance button, we disconnect from both our outer environment and our inner understanding and turn critical of ourselves and others. The macrocosm catalyzes our microcosm and allows the outer world to shape our attitudes, behaviors and even our realities. Without accepting the changeability of people and things, we are not able to flow in our lives.

During my practice whether on the mat or in my daily life this week, I paid special attention to my skin. My skin, this touch sense, is like a barrier to not only protect me but also helps constitute my edge, separating my inward and outward. On the mat, while staying with a posture and exploring my edge, I could distinctly sense my skin was exploring and feeling all phenomena happening simultaneously. I noticed the multifaceted reactions on my skin promulgated by my varying emotions. For instance, when I felt joyful, my skin took on a quality of lightness or thinness, my body temperature lowered consistently, and even felt colder with the passage of time. When I was annoyed during a pause, I could sense my skin feeling heavy, thick, wrinkled, dry, and I perceived it gradually darkening in color. However, no matter my emotional reactions, I was much closer to my core and more focused on what they were or how they changed. Even if they were complex and I could not figure out right away, I could better understand and clear them one at a time along with the process.

Additionally, back to my daily life, I especially reminded myself to live with my skin instead of just looking with my eyes and listening with my ears. I felt much more energy or chi around me whether from people or things. In the meantime, I switched on my acceptance button and noticed that no matter what happened, dislike or like, things gradually became what they were without any unnecessary definition. Undoubtedly, during the process, all emotions still followed me, but did not last as long as in previous practices. I did not let myself be led by my emotions. Instead, I just let them stay there and did not care that they were with me or not. As a result, most of my awareness was strongly focusing on what’s happening in the present moment.

It really strengthens my professional work as well. Whether teaching a group class or having a therapeutic session, as a leader, while I was firming myself completely as well as opening my skin connection, students or clients would receive my signal. Even though some of them disconnected themselves initially, they would reconnect little by little. In other words, they would accept me first, then accept what messages I sent to them, and then learn how to accept the information surrounding them, eventually accepting themselves. Indeed, it takes time. However, as a professional, if my own practice grows from a rooted position, I believe I do not have to say extra beautiful words or demonstrate skillful methods, but simply implement wisely.

In terms of the exciting exploration this week, for the next practice, I intend to explore my skin/touch sense more, both on the mat or in daily life. I am curious about new explorations of my other senses as well. As for my struggles with how to balance my work and private time, I feel I have some ideas and will try to adjust a little bit this week and see how it goes. I know it will still be quite a struggle, but I would like to press the acceptance button!

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