The past month has been a time of great emotional stress. A time of grief and loss. During this time, I've avoided my yoga mat. I've actually been afraid of my mat. Afraid that a challenging pose would bring up my feelings of fear about this new change. Afraid that pigeon pose would cause a breakdown. Afraid that I would get into child's pose and be unwilling to uncurl myself.
I've always been strong and stoic -- able to compartmentalize my emotions. It's how people have defined me. And I've let them. Somewhere along the way, I associated being strong with turning off my emotions. So I've been afraid to practice my yoga -- because I know that I won't be able to keep my feelings shoved into that dark recesses that help keep me strong.
Today reality hit. As I was getting out of the bed, my neck was tight, my hips hurt, and I actually hobbled on my bad foot. You see acting strong isn't actually being strong. Avoiding my mat because I was afraid to feel my emotions for fear of being/looking weak was actually MAKING me weak -- doing physical harm.
In the Yoga Sutra 1.13 Patanjali tells us that the practice of "practice" is how we find the inner focus and stillness. By avoiding my mat (and refusing to surrender to my feelings) I'm failing to move closer to the inner stillness yoga brings.
So today I will step on my mat. I will not judge the emotions I feel. They are just emotions -- neither good or bad. I know there is tremendous strength in being vulnerable. Today I will embrace that strength. I will live in the moment, no regrets for the past no fear for the future. Today I will step on my mat.
So I challenge each of you. Step on your mat when you don't want to. Step on your mat when you are afraid. Step on your mat when you don't think you have the strength -- your mat will catch you if you surrender.
Love to you all -- Cathy