“ ... Sorry about that.
I’ll never know comfort till the sun sets.
I’ve always known the struggle when the light and my eyes met.
Put me back in the earth.
I came from dust and not dirt.
You made me from dust, not dirt ... “
~ The Color Morale ~ Avoid ~
I think people are surprised when you tell them you are a yoga instructor but may not practice intense yoga every day. Yes, I try, I try very hard. But with the expectation that it should be easier, personally speaking, every time I step onto the mat, I feel like it’s the first time. And at times when there is a sudden loss of a loved one, or I am spiraling downward cycle of depression, I have no motivation, let alone the desire to step onto my mat ... but I try ... and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it.
With over a decade of my own personal practice, I acknowledge that the poses I avoid at all costs are the ones I need the most. Sounds like life. Distractions, procrastination and apathy can allow me to avoid my mat and bury me far away from our most unwanted feelings. By doing this, I avoid giving attention to that which needs it the most ... the darkness.
... turn a setback into a comeback ...
So getting on your mat can be an arduous task ... yeah, that is a great marketing tool ... but honestly, it sort of is. Because you don’t want to face those uncomfortable emotions sometimes. You know those ones, just under the surface. Fear about what may come up, what you may find and what you may have to let go.
... remembering that yoga goes beyond the movements we perform on our mat, and that through this solo dance, we give attention to the emotions we are avoiding and transform our reality ...
- I realize the times when I feel alone in my darkness is the precise time I need to be alone on my island of my yoga mat. That is when I need it the most .. 20 seconds, 20 minutes or 2 hours ... time is irrelevant.
- I realize that in those moments, I can listen to what my heart wants and needs ... and do it, with faith and rather than judgement.
- I realize that learning to own my body’s movements and self-expression on the mat helps me to own the darkest emotions while they ebb and flow like the ocean.
- I realize that as I grieve loss, I can dedicate my practice towards the experience, be grateful, feel connected and a sense of oneness and love.
This practice has been a constant thread in my life ... through loss, turmoil, drama ... and illness. It is naive for me to think that this practice will erase negative thoughts or strong emotions. Yet from experience, it saved me from resistance by allowing space to witness what happens inside of me, to accept me, to accept both the darkness and the light. And appreciate that since our time on Gaia is just a lifetime, we can choose to come home to ourselves, in the present moment, with compassion, kindness and unconditional love.