Rehabilitation – getting out and staying in
The rehabilitation of the body – in the sense of fully inhabiting it and cultivating intimacy with it as it is, however it is – is a universal attribute of mindfulness practice, including mindful yoga. Since it is of limited value to speak of the body as separate from the mind, or of mind separated from body, we are inevitably talking about the rehabilitation of our whole being, and the realization of our wholeness moment by moment, step by step, and breath by breath, starting, as always, with where we are now.
Jon Kabat Zinn – in Arriving at your own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness
If you ask most people about rehab, they’ll say it’s for people needing help with a physical addiction – alcohol or other drugs. They sort of describe it like the person is going to a laundromat, to have their body scrubbed for a while, so they can return squeaky-clean to their regular life.
If you ask anyone who’s been through rehab, they’ll probably tell you a different story.
Those who went to rehab and successfully rid themselves of their physical habit will tell you that the hardest work in rehab wasn’t physical at all – it was their whole being: body, mind, attitudes, beliefs, and their whole being.
Even the most successful will tell you that you never really leave rehab. In fact, living fully requires ongoing presence, continued attention, and mindfulness. That’s why one of the most widely known AA phrases is “One Step At A Time” and why so many meditation practices begin with the breath. These simple things – our steps and our breath – are very close to most of us.
The good news is that our steps and our breath are close to us, and they can lead us into mindfulness, and help us stay there.