Often people are compared to onions because they share a similarity (no, not odor) -- multiple layers. This is one of the reasons that it can be fun to get to know others -- as well as oneself -- it's like an archaeological dig discovering new treasures at various excavation points.
Recently I met someone who seemed like a certain "type." I'll admit that when I first met this person, I had a judgment moment. I was tempted to simply smile, have a brief exchange, and then be on my way. Instead, I decided to stay and be open to more. I had that feeling that there was more to this person than the blustery personality and stereotypical behavior. After spending a bit of time with this person, the layers began to show. Had I walked away thinking this person was one-dimensional, I would have missed out on the rest of him -- the whole person.
It's interesting to me that we tend to do this all of the time. We don't delve into ourselves -- we stay on the surface. We don't dive deep with others because we fear the intimacy (or perhaps we fear what we'll find -- what's in another is also in us). We focus on asana in our yoga practice because we think that's the end all and be all of yoga. Asana is for the body...what about the rest of us?
When I work with a client, I consider the whole person, not just his/her physical state. There's more to a person than tight hamstrings or a stiff back or strong quads. There are emotions, energetics, thoughts, and a whole bunch of layers that make up a person. Welcome to the Panchamaya Model, which offers up 5 layers or koshas of our system.
This excellent article and graphic reminds us that we need to acknowledge and work with the multiple layers of ourselves in order to understand ourselves more fully and/or inspire deep change. Why not play bigger and go beyond Upward and Downward Dog? Why not get to know and celebrate all of yourself?