I just wrote, and then proceeded to accidentally delete, a long blog post about the past three weeks. I’m not going to re-write it now, but the gist is this: it’s wonderful to be back in Chapel Hill, teaching yoga, surrounded by a wonderful community of people. The inspiration for my asana classes last week came from the following teaching from Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun whose teachings I always seem to turn to in times of turmoil:
In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.
There’s been a lot to let go of during the last three weeks–a romantic partnership of several years, at least half of my worldly belongings, resentment and anger that arose during a family situation, and–most difficult of all–my idea that I have any real measure of control over what happens around me and that my life should proceed in a linear, orderly fashion. Bringing an attitude of gentleness towards myself and others along with clarifying a more precise idea of my intentions has helped me move through these difficult moments with greater ease than in the past.
These three qualities are also integral to a sustainable yoga asana practice. Precise alignment and gentleness protect one’s physical body from injury. The ability to let go of our expectations for what our bodies should look like in a certain shape allows for some weakening of the death grip of the ego on the mind, lessening of feelings of competition with others, and more enjoyment of what we can do in any given pose in any given moment.
Despite the chaos of the past few weeks, I have maintained a daily asana practice. I had hoped to blog about each day’s practice, but I’ll just recap. I’ve been fortunate to attend classes at four different yoga schools–Triangle Yoga, Carrboro Yoga Company, Loving Kindness Yoga School, and Heart of Yoga School–with seven different teachers over the past two weeks, as well as practicing on my own both indoors and out. (I also had the pleasure of leading my dear Mother in two yoga classes while she visited North Carolina for a few days following a surgery at MD Anderson in Houston.)
This morning, I practiced at Heart of Yoga School in Carrboro where fellow Veda Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training graduate and friend Hollie Mann led a lovely class with live music by Kristen Luna Ray and her kirtan band.
Now that things are beginning to quiet down, I’m hoping to be able to write more. Namaste, y’all. 🙂