Dec 2012

Greetings yoga friends -

Teaching yoga this week, thinking of the students in the room and their own stories, of cancer recovery, of heartbreak over adult children's struggles, of moving beyond chronic shoulder pain, of daring to get back into yoga after major surgeries, I was struck by an insight so visceral that it was hard to keep saying words to the room. Tears welled behind my eyes as I realized how hard we are all trying to envision a future beyond these challenges, how much effort we are putting to be in that future, and yet at the same time we all yearning to be in this present moment.

How do we live in the present without feeling stuck? As if it was somehow settling. After all, our optimistic American nature, our new frontier hope, calls us to something more than staying at home.

And suddenly I realized that our yoga practice is really daring us to live in the change. In the transition. In the be-coming.

The present is not the stuck place. That is the past. We are in the gear-slip wind-tousling wrenching-free movement that is the change. A flexibility which is not just about muscles - about time itself, about not standing still.

We had done one side of the classic hamstring strap-stretch, and as we paused, I invited class to check into the softness of the body, to resist the urge to 'complete' the pose. And then, once reconnected to the breath, even then don't move into the future - instead let it come to us as this second side of the stretch, as this next stage of our life - 

Perhaps we become new, not by forcing our awareness into the future, but by focusing on the change that is happening right here in this moment, and letting the future come to us - with all its terror, joy and hope.

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