meditation · personal yoga practice · sabbatical · subtle body · water + yoga · yoga · yoga in Mexico · yoga retreats

Transitions in Life, in Yoga

The beginning of September always inspires me. For years, it has marked the kids’ return to school and my daily routine to a sense of ‘normal’. In Mexico, with just one child, whose school has a very sane 8:00am start time and is but a 15 minute walk away, ‘normal’ has a different feel. So, this being the 1st of September, let me look into my bowlful of ideas and see which ones, when woven together, might constitute a whole thread…

Transitions. In a yoga practice, transitions become moments ripe with possibility. Transitions from one asana to the next, from one breath to the next, from one element of your practice to the next… all are ripe, ripe, ripe, especially as one becomes more adept at, and trusting of, the not-knowing, the not-doing, and the cultivated sense of suspension.

Transitions take practice. I was able to have a few days in early August on the coast of Maine at my favorite beach. This beach is miles long, sandy, rarely crowded, and draws a dedicated group of surfers. Or surf-hopefuls. Having no surfboard, or even a boogie board, the boys and I threw ourselves at the mercy of the waves. It did not take my body-memory long to remember how to release into their thrust and pull. My cells recalled how they cycle from modest undulations to deeply curled, translucent green, froth-topped tossers. It was a glorious 3 days, being Rolfed by the Atlantic. I swallowed a lot of sea water and sand found its way into every crack and fold of my body. It took days for the mermaid-like feel and scent to fade.

Transitions have a purpose. Being in the ocean was like being in a big bowl of neither here nor there. When you stand on the beach, you can be aware of how the sand might be shifting, or how the winds might buffet you a bit, but it is possible to ‘stand your ground’. In the water, on those particular days, it was best to let the body become yet another molecule, another loosened frond of seaweed, another piece of flotsam, because of how things were always moving. The more I allowed myself to be ‘moved’ the more aware I was of how very fluid is the human form, even feeling the latent fluidity in my bones.

Back to Mexico, back to the desert, back to the transitions: from summer to autumn, from vacation to school, from sabbatical into livelihood. Back to my private clients, back to my writing projects, back to creating material for yoga workshops and retreats based on fluidity, transcendence, and transitions. Back to my explorations of the subtle body, to teaching people how to access the information we already hold inside. Back to the wearing of many hats: archeologist, spelunker, astronomer, sous-chef in the ongoing explorations of yoga and of what happens when we simultaneously take hold of our practice and give in to its teachings.

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