on the mat is a state of mind
My lovely friend Christopher has inspired me. He is doing a yoga Mala – not 108 sun salutations, but 108 days of yoga in a row (you can read about it here). He speaks of resolution and follow through, something that I’ve gotten better at, but have yet to perfect.
I’ve had struggles with my daily practice recently, lots of travel, exhausting days… but I’ve realized something incredible, something I had heard was true, but had yet to believe for myself. I’m pretty sure I read it in Meditations from the Mat, that your practice, daily practice, protects you from life’s ups and downs. Abhysa is your shelter from the shitstorms that inevitably crop up to rain on your best intentions. After a few days away from the studio (and my sporadic-at-best practice of late), I realized that I would have to move out of my apartment. SOON. I also realized that I was dangerously low on cash and familial support. Shit. SHIT. So, what did I do? I went to class. Jill’s lovely, amazing, ooey gooey restorative class. I realized that yoga (especially yoga that is already paid for) is there for me. This is why I invested in my membership at Blue Lotus, why I set that money aside in advance, so that no matter what happens, I have yoga. I have a sacred space to work through whatever might be going on in my life in a healthy and productive way. I can grow from every situation.
I took another couple days off to figure out what I was going to do about my living situation and was at loose ends on sunday morning. Back to class.
Jill’s level 1 on sunday afternoon offered me yet another pearl – she asked that we think of the places in which we are fluid, where things are easy – and then that we ponder the tension, where we get stuck. What is the difference? What are we holding on to?
She asked the questions when we happened to be in a pose that I liked (and am good at) – and as I chewed on her query… moved us into a series of standing poses, my weakest point due to long thin feet, high arches and weak ankles. (the parallels between my yoga and my life are never subtle or light of hand) I thought (as we moved into a toe stand), why is it that I can do so many things without even flinching, things that are much more difficult and complicated than moving, and yet, money and shelter seem to be the things that, when threatened, send me over the edge. Have I ever been homeless? Have I ever been penniless? No. Has the universe ever dropped me on my ass? No. So why the stress?
I knew things would work out, and I relaxed, right into that toestand. I stopped trying to hold myself up and let gravity bring me into the pose, let my bones support me and my tendons relax. I stood up into the realization that it would be alright, that I would survive. I stood right up into the most beautiful tree pose I may have ever done.
Out of struggle comes confidence, and grace. I found a place to live, and my money situation is resolving, but I like how I felt when I figured it out. So, taking a cue from Chris, I am going to hand myself a new challenge, one that will better prepare me for the trials that are not of my own doing in the future. I am going to do 108 classes in 108 days. I’ve built in some flexibility – so that if I get to two classes in one day, I can earn a day off (useful since I happen to be a bridesmaid next month). But starting today, I will do one class for every day between now and April 29th.
Here we go!