It always amazes me how the practice of yoga so often parallels life. When things are moving too fast for my liking, it seems exactly like a Vinyasa flow. And I do exactly what I would do in my practice. Keep focused on what’s right in front of me because thinking about how I need a break or would like to slow down does not serve me. The only option is to be present with the practice at hand.
When I’m feeling cramped or constricted by life or by circumstances, I think of myself in a cramped, tight asana and remind myself to breathe.
I’ve been on the road the last couple weeks and have been doing a lot of yoga on my own, wherever and whenever I can. Sometimes I have the luxury of a beautiful, even space to set up on. Often, though, I’ve only had uneven ground to work with. I can forego my practice or work with what I have. Working with what I have is the better option.
A couple days into this uneven-ground time, I stumbled upon a perfectly level space. I paused here and folded forward into Uttanasana with huge gratitude for the ground beneath my feet. The even, stable, supportive ground was so wonderful, was so enough.
Going without my regular yoga routine for a few days and I started to feel a little unbalanced. Then I recalled how I sometimes feel the exact same way on my mat. Unbalanced, struggling to keep myself aligned, inspired, and upright.
This is the challenge and the reward of our lives. Grow tall wherever we are planted. Reach out with whatever limbs we have. Stand our ground on whatever ground we are privileged to stand on. Climb to higher ground when it’s needed. Kneel in gratitude and not just to pick up something shiny or lost. Kneel in gratitude for the freedom to walk this earth, to stumble on it, to crawl over it, to get back up, and to one day return to it.
The cycle of life begins and ends here, where you stand.