May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
For the past couple of years, Big Kitty and I have attended a weekly yoga session. I soon realized that I needed a space in which to practice at home, which spawned yet another project.
It turned out to be a positive project in that it gave our guest room a new purpose, besides hosting the occasional overnight person. We now have a place where we can unfurl our mats and practice on our own. The room is tranquil and cheerful and we have a place to keep mats, blocks and what have you.
Over the past few years, I've noticed some shifts in my outlook and my willingness to forgive and let go, not only of slights, but of things that just have no purpose in my life.
When we move into a pose that brings us to an edge (take that to mean the body has gone as far as it is willing to go - to go any farther is to push it), we stop there, at that edge. And we stay in that pose, breathing. Focus on the breath takes the focus away from the body's position, and the body relaxes into the position and goes farther of its own volition.
So it is with anything we try in life. We go to the edge and breathe. We focus on the air coming in and going out and before we know it, we have exceeded one limit and are heading for another, which will, with proper breathing, be exceeded, as well.
Yoga teaches us to be patient with our bodies, and if we pay attention to the lessons, we learn to be patient with things that used to put us into a tailspin. To be sure, I still have my triggers (don't ever patronize me - it won't end well for you), but the more time I spend on the mat, focusing on the here and now, the more I am able to distance myself from the people and situations that disrupt the harmony in my life. I find myself letting go of the to do list and being comfortable with doing something else instead - minus the guilt.
Our teacher is a healer. She embodies all that is good about keeping our focus clear and our interactions well seasoned with kindness.
Big Kitty and I each have been coming to terms with the changes in our bodies that are the result of aging. He's had more injuries due to work or activities. I, on the other hand, being a slug for the most part, am mainly learning to live with arthritis in my joints and a gradual loss of strength. I don't like being unable to hoist a heavy bag of garden soil or Black Kow. But I have to focus on what I am doing in order to avoid injury, and I have to be sensible about admitting I need a helper.
There are times when I can attain a pose with ease. There are other times when it's just not going to happen. So it is in everything we do. Rather than beat ourselves up over what we are unable to do, yoga teaches us to be pleased with what we are able to do.
Our teacher thanks us for coming and doing something positive for our bodies. I like to think of it as my weekly reminder of how to move in the world without leaving a wake that capsizes the other boats.
And, now with our yoga space, and the shift in my thinking about how I spend my time, I find myself able to go to the mat as a way to center myself and to keep focus on what is truly important to me. Not the clutter of our daily lives, but the things that matter most. I wish all of you the space in your lives to thank yourself for what you've done that gives you satisfaction. it's a great feeling!
And so, namaste, my friends. I salute the divine in you.