(an update, and a thank-you)
Do you know where it is that people often hurt themselves in a yoga practice?
It's in the transition.
We do this in our lives, too, but often without any awareness that it's happening (just as the physical injury is the result of a lack of awareness and/or proper self-care during yoga practice).
It's hard to stay open while we're healing, and while we're changing. And it's easy to become distracted by the pain we carry with us, the fear of uncertainty, or the constant call of the ego. In yoga practice, the mental chatter and fluctuations are highlighted, as though placed under a microscope and suddenly we become aware of all that we believe ourselves to be, and this can be heavy. All of the details of our lives - the daily interactions, the inner dialogues, the nagging of our future plans, the swirling of our thoughts and feelings - are tagging along, just waiting for an opportunity to steal us away.
And all of our duties and obligations and the demands of our relationships and roles in life do the same as we move from one phase to the next or make a major change. There is always a pulling at the heart and the mind, as long as we keep moving and breathing, and this is why it's so important to stay centered, in asana and in life.
A recurring theme of my life for a number of years now seems to be that everything changes. I've always struggled with letting go of things, especially the things I really love. But my practice has been to remind myself that I'm never actually losing anything by changing or moving on; life asks us to make space for new growth, and that often requires a release.
The past year or so has been full of change, sometimes by choice and other times not, and it's forced me to relax the grip I try to maintain on all corners of my life. It might have taken me a really long time, but I've come to understand what I most need to support myself and continue to grow, not just as a yoga teacher but also as a Soul.
When I was 22 and working in Vancouver I was interviewing for an exciting (non-yoga) job. I didn't end up getting it, but the experience was valuable, and the recruiter was a very kind woman who made sure to tell me, "You know exactly who you are, and that's so rare, especially at your age." I was shocked, because at that time I felt completely lost without any understanding of who I was or where I belonged. I still feel like that sometimes, a decade later, but the small, quiet voice inside gets louder by the day, and I don't feel like I'm forging ahead so blindly anymore.
I'm right in the middle of a pretty major life shift, and while I'll reserve some of those details for a future blog post (maybe?!), I want say that I'm so full of gratitude for all of the beautiful relationships and incredible opportunities in my life. I'm constantly reminded how much love surrounds me these days, and it carries me through those difficult transitions.
I'm stepping away from the work of full-time yoga instruction, as it hasn't provided the sort of consistency and stability that I need in my life. I gave it a really good shot, for nearly a decade, and I feel both proud of the things I've accomplished and blessed for all of the sweet experiences this role brought along with it. Fortunately, I have an amazing opportunity to continue working with the community in a meaningful way, and I can't wait to step into this next phase of my life. I've been emotional, because, let's face it: change is good, but change is hard. Of course I'm a little nervous about some of the uncertainty that lies ahead, but I'm also more excited about life than I have been in a very long time, if ever.
And I think this is truly what matters.