You know how sometimes you can take certain things for granted? You know, like being able to walk, for example. You just expect certain things to always be there, and to be functioning the same as it always has... it's an easy thing to slip into.
Then you partake in one of your adrenaline junkie extracurricular activities, and you are just having the time of your life! Right?
Until your sled decides it's hungry; and tries to eat your legs for dinner; and your friends have to carry you down the mountain...
What? That's never happened to you? Well, I'm glad to hear it; and not to worry, you don't have to burn to learn on this one, because I took one for the team (you're welcome) and I'm about to share with you the lessons I've learned thus far!
Before I get to the good stuff, let me just say that I am okay. Honest. But for those wondering why all of our classes on the island are suddenly canceled, it's because your yoga teacher has an adventurist spirit and a slight addiction to speed. (MPH, not the drug or the movie) I am flying to Anchorage this weekend to get a better picture about what's happening, and I hope to be back to teaching in just a few short weeks. So don't go too far in my absence. :)
Okay, good stuff --
I have never in my life been so completely grateful for my yoga practice.
This is what I've been training for. "Training" if that's what you want to call it. Now more than ever I am reaping the benefits of my yoga practice. While I have always had an understanding that this practice prepares you for life, this really puts that idea in your face. The 8 limbs of yoga combine to really help build the kind of resiliency for anything life throws at you. I am incredibly grateful for my asana practice (the physical postures we do in class) because it has made me strong. It has taught me how to isolate movement. It has taught me that my brain will give up a hundred times before my body will quit on me. It has taught me how to embody and embrace my body, and the difference between intense sensations and pain. It taught me that sometimes I need a block, or people, for support, and that is okay. I am grateful for the knowledge my body holds, and that I can trust it.
However, so much more than that I am grateful for the other limbs of yoga; I am grateful for the breathing, the self care, the silence. For learning how to lean into challenges, and how to hold myself in that space. I am grateful for the resilience that has been woven into my tissues and my spirit through this practice.
There are two words that keep coming into my thoughts this week… resilient and resourceful. I find that resilience is the virtue that enables you to move through hardship and become better. The other day, I was flipping through one of my many notebooks and found this scribbled on the bottom of a page; I'm not sure where I originally read it or who said it.
From pain can come wisdom.
From fear can come courage.
From suffering can come strength.
I find these words to be absolutely true and possible with the developed virtue of resilience; because my yoga practice has taught me these things. Its taught me how leverage experiences and find new perspectives. It’s sparked creativity and healing. It’s provided space for me to accept and respond to life, from a place of love inside of me.
There are so many tools that this practice offers that aren’t always realized right away. It’s a slow and steady progress coming into yourself. Living from that place sets you up to take on all of life’s happenings. This practice is not just about becoming enlightened and detaching so that you are free from life; it is about becoming aware of life and responding in a way that you can feel free as you live and experience your life.
So you get some homework this month… What tools are you gathering from your practice? What tools do you want to gather? Can you give yourself permission to go inside a little deeper? Can you stay in that space a little longer? Feel what is there in your body. Choose your thoughts wisely. Listen to your heart and your spirit. Learn how to hold yourself in life’s happenings, and when to ask for support. Get curious off of the mat, too. What is happening in your life that you could breathe more space into? Or relax your neck and jaw as you deal with whatever it is. That’s a lot of questions… you can just pick one or two. ;)
Use your practice! Gather your tools. You will reap the benefits.
You are so loved. You are so supported.