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Honestly..it’s just winter

December 22, 2010

Shiva Rea got me…everything…flowing down, rooting into this earth. She honours rhythm. She honours the rhythm of the sunrise and the sunset. She honours the rhythm of our voices that united so many times amidst sweaty skin in mantra for our sensitive throats.

As yogis, we learn that “evenness of mind is called yoga” (Bhagavad Gita Line 48). We eventually abandon all attachment and maintain an even mind in all successes and all failures.

And yet the rhythms, they cycle. The evenness of mind, it cycles.

We are honest in recognizing that seasons change, our physical and emotional conditions flow. We get low, we get high. The ups and downs that will naturally haunt our spirits can break us apart or can humble us back into deep gratitude.

This process of appreciating the heavy dark hours takes time. There needs to be a constant remembrance of being kind and honest with ourselves-this dark shadow will inevitably lead to or be followed by a bright light.

“The second value in yoga is honesty, or satya. On the mat, this yama translates as humility. Humility is often confused with humiliation-but humility does not cause humiliation, it prevents it. Humility is not being humble, it is being honest. It is being right sized…we have not been taught to be honest with ourselves or with others.

Honesty is actually the moment when life starts to get good. We let go, simultaneously, of the fear that has made us obscure our truth and the strain of presenting a false self to the world. Becoming right sized, for most of us, is a serious promotion. Under our delusions of grandeur lurks the certainty of mediocrity. Becoming right sized means letting go of the pretense that we are not God’s children and that we are not born divine. The paradox is that even as we recognize our own divinity, we must also be willing to go back to square one. The asana presents us with an inexhaustible supply of opportunities to go back to square one, to develop humility. If we are willing to do this, a beautiful thing happens-an authentic human being begins to emerge. As this being matures, we find that we do have something to say, something to share, and that the very acts of telling and sharing are healing for both the giver and the receiver. The asana embody this knowledge; they remind us, over and over again, that before we leave this short life, we must give of our truth.” (Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat)

So, I showed up (in spite of dark dark thoughts and days) to be with Shiva Rea. And it turned out that she met us all more than halfway. To guide us through sacred meditations, hasta bandas, pranayama and chants. I was with dear friends, strong women during the movement with droning beats in remembrance of warm fire and how soothing and grounding the dark months can be.

A light sparked within of humility for the preceding uninspired days. An appreciation towards my friends, the cyclic nature of the seasons and ideas and a new glimmer of understanding towards every breath, every movement, every teacher and student’s smile as a lifelong work. Honestly, the work and the discoveries are infinite. In yoga, I’m home.

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