I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years and there are a few things that have become clear: I NEED yoga in my life though it’s really hard some days to remember that. At a recent class, the teacher (who I had never studied with) came in and shared that none of what she’d anticipated that morning or planned for, had worked out. She had headed off to class feeling like: “this is going to be one of those days.” We’ve all said that; we’ve all had those mornings. One thing falls the wrong way and the rest of your dominoes seem to follow. Suddenly it’s only 10 am and you’re already feeling like the day is set and you’d be better off back under the covers…waiting for a better day. Our teacher posed this question: What if your job was to water seeds for the rest of your life? What if you were told that they might not grow and they might not change, but you would still need to water them; could you be satisfied just doing the best watering job possible and not worrying about the outcome?
Admittedly, that one threw me for a loop. It’s been popping up ever since she said it. Honestly, no; I don’t think I could be satisfied continuing a task like that, with no visible or foreseeable outcome. However, her point was a good one. Can you go through days where it might not look so hopeful; days when the task at hand does not turn out the way you’d like; invest in relationships and/or lives that have unforeseeable paths and outcomes and just keep doing your best? Isn’t that what life is all about? None of us really know what’s around the bend. We invest emotionally and in other ways in outcomes we anticipate and think we can foresee, but those stories are never really sure or clear, until they’re played out. People change, events happen, turns come in the road that we choose, regardless of whether we anticipated them or not.
When I’m on my game, I look forward to each yoga class because I know I will have 90 minutes when these truths are clear, and a source of strength. I work on remembering that not all the dominoes will necessarily fall, some stand up to the pressure and a new pattern emerges. Othere days, my time on the mat feels endless: each pose, each vinyasa, is a challenge and my efforts to breath steadily and let my thoughts flow is a true effort. At the end of every one of those classes, I have bowed in true gratitude, a heart felt Namaste on my lips, in my mind and in my heart, to the effort I gave and the fact that I finished feeling stronger. On those days, more than ever, I am especially grateful for the compassion and wisdom that the wonderful yogis in my life (Amy, Michal and others) share with me. I am nurtured by their touch and honored to finish each class with them.
I keep coming back though, and I continue to unroll my yoga mat and work to find a clear path. When my mind wanders and my life chases me on to the mat, I try to draw from it to hold that Vīrabhadrāsana (warrior pose) a little longer a little fiercer; surrender to Uttanasana (standing forward fold) a little deeper, or smile when I’m in Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) knowing that my own dog, Luke, greets me each day with that pose. Each pose gives me an opportunity to dig deeper within myself and deeper in to the challenges in life, and within myself, that may always be there. I need yoga and I keep returning to my mat, digging deep when I’m there, because it continues to remind that life requires that too: you just have to breath through the hard positions, smile at the absurd and finish stronger than you started.
Note: That is not me in warrior (but I do envision it like that), but that is my faithful dog Luke, greeting me this morning. If you liked this post, please hit the Like button below, or pass it on, with Share button.