Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

This week’s yoga class focused on water, opening with the following reading:

Tao #78

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
     He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
          is fit to rule them.
     He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves
          to be king of the universe.
The truth often seems paradoxical.

The teacher talked about the power of water to transform the earth by wearing away rock, as mentioned in the first few lines above. She asked us to focus on the water within each of us as we went through our yoga practice.

My body had always seemed so solid to me -- being made up of skin and bones and flesh. But as we did twist after twist, I could almost feel the water coursing through my being.

It’s interesting too that Esther’s class on Sunday focused on a prayer from the morning Shabbat service that is actually meant to be said every time we go to the bathroom. It thanks God for all the “tunnels” of the body, like veins and capillaries and our urinary system, and for the fact that they continue to carry liquid through our bodies, getting rid of what we don’t need.

I was curious just how much of our body is made up of water. I found this on a USGS site:

Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90 percent of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60 percent of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water. About 83 percent of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 liters of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.

Lessons in the importance of water seem to be coming from all directions!


Blogger Steve said...

My mom used to get so annoyed with me when I was a kid because I hated drinking water -- I always wanted Coke or juice or milk. Now that I'm an adult water is practically all I ever drink! (Well, except coffee and wine. :) )

2:09 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I don't ever remember craving water as a kid the way I do now. People tease me because I always come with my water bottle. That's not to say I don't enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my first year of college I "led" some night-time water-honoring rituals at a fountain on the campus I attended.

I love water.


11:44 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

As you know, I'm always learning from water. It's trying, anyway. I'm not sure how much I pick up.

8:49 PM  

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