A few weeks ago our family took a movement class in the city with Eiko, an East Village treasure, who, with her partner Koma, form the incredible duet Eiko + Koma. For over forty years they have been practicing their particular style of dance which combines slow, searching movements for hours at a time. They are hypnotizing to watch, and I hoped to discover, by taking a workshop with Eiko, what made their work such an act of meditation for me as an audience member.
One of the exercises we practiced was moving to rest, to practice “becoming useless”. It brought me back to yoga, where the practice asks us to find a steady comfortable seat –sthira sukham asanam – in all the asanas we embody. What does it mean to practice becoming useless? Perhaps not working, not striving towards a goal, but just being here until it becomes effort and then moving into the next moment seeking stillness and rest. Not trying, but just being. It’s hard, right? It is easier to run towards a goal: the challenge comes from being here now, right Ram?
If you get a chance to practice moving to rest with Eiko, I hope you will. The workshops continue on Wednesdays at 10am at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. Or you can practice moving to rest on your yoga mat, any time, any where.