Listen, Feel It All

Yoga helps us to be solid, regardless of the conditions.

I had such a wonderful day!  The weather was beautiful!  Warm and sunny, with snow in the mountains.  The valley here is surrounded by mountains.  The stars are out tonight, they are breathtaking.  Again, I am overcome with joy at my fortune to be here now.  

Had a wonderful training today with my guru and friend, Meg McCraken and Ashleigh Sargent.  We did some mantra chanting, to the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, which I love.  It is truly magical, the vibrations of the voices, and to consider that this mantra has been chanted for thousands of years.  It is being chanted somewhere always, never stops.  I will share with my students when I get home.  

Mantras remind us to listen with our cells.  To listen beyond the words.  To listen not so that we can respond, but to pay attention to what is underneath the words.  

As a parent that rings so true.  It is so easy to respond to our children with what we think they should do.  But if we truly listen, we can be a friend, be a source of support without reacting.  We can be there without fixing.  The act of truly listening to another human being is such a gift.  It is even more difficult to tune into ourselves and listen to what is bubbling up from within.

As we listen we often find some discomfort, we find some hardship or doubt that shines through.  Yesterday in class I struggled.  I was not familiar with the information we covered.  It is all energy work, very esoteric, and hard for my rational mind to grasp.  It occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t be a yoga teacher after all.  I considered what my life would look like without teaching yoga.  

I love teaching yoga, I love my students, our studio and yoga community near and far.  We all have moments of doubt, times when we truly feel the rub of something, the uncomfortable, feelings that we would rather avoid.  But true growth comes when we are brave enough to lean into the discomfort.  It is when we are brave enough to explore the friction that we can truly evolve as humans.  The material is becoming clearer as I hang in there.  I had a wonderful experience today, learned so much that I can’t wait to share.  

We all have days that are wonderful, days that are hard.  We have suffering and joy and feelings of anxiety and peace and anger and happiness.  We tend to cling to the things we love and push away the emotions that we dislike.  It is all about desires and aversions.  Yoga is a practice of leaning in to all that is, regardless of whether we like it.  Those uncomfortable poses, even the ones that cause suffering (ha-ha to my students), are teaching us to be with our emotions and feelings rather than avoiding them.  

By leaning in to it all, we feel it all.  We process it all.  What we don’t process winds up ruling our lives.   Yoga teaches us to be in this life, to find our contentment regardless of the way things roll.  We are all happy when things go our way.  Being grounded in the heartbreak is the challenge.  Yoga helps us to be solid, regardless of the conditions.  Contentment becomes unconditional.  Not that it doesn’t hurt.  But that we feel a sense of connection with the universal pull of life, the ins, the outs, the ups and downs.  

Feel it all.  Don’t push it away.