As a yoga teacher students come, students go. People move away, get new jobs change their schedules, find new teachers. But it’s always disheartening when someone tells you that they dropped their yoga because they were having a rough time of it. In a community where the adages of ‘Find your bliss’ and ‘You are joy’, are easily thrown out, it is distressing to think that when you need it the most you don’t make it because you don’t have any of that feel-good spirit. Mindfulness is the act of taking the mind in its entirety, in its fullness, and observing it. Yoga is a perfect place to do that. But it is an action that has to be taken and it takes some courage, especially in the crappiest of times.
Recently at the end of my yoga practice, after I had worked deeply, going into the corners of my body and asking it what it needed, tending to the sore and forgotten places, doing what I’ve practiced doing for over 20 years. I moved towards savasana to rest and as I edged myself in to be still, my mind drifted immediately and I could feel the wagons circling again. I could feel the dark edges of fear creep in. Not the “Oh My God I’m in deep shit” type of fear, just your run of the mill, every day, this is what it means to be human type of fear. The peck, peck, peck type – I had an unending mound of tasks ahead of me to perform and there seemed to be no end to it -type.
And then I heard part of myself say “I Will Leave Myself Alone”.
I instantly felt some space open up, I could feel the deeper part of myself softly chuckling, kindly, ‘There you go again, thinking all of that stuff is who you are and what you’re made of”. This is what the practice gives me, just enough space for this clearing to happen.
As I left my mat and went back out into the day, I checked my phone, read my email, checked in with my husband, life continued. I have chosen a partner, had a child, run a business and have a community to serve, but at the same time I will do my best to listen to the advice of my higher self, I will stop pecking at myself, badgering myself, to do it better, faster and to always do more. I will leave myself alone and find out what’s there, what’s left and what is life offering in the form of pure life that I might be missing when my head is down. This is what my mat has to offer.