Wednesday, July 21, 2010

learning to rest in the pose

Here is another instance of yoga practice being applied to real life. I have been reading "Meditations from the Mat" by Rolf Gates. I pick it up periodically and read a passage or two, usually in the mornings before I meditate (I have to admit that this is still an infrequent practice, but I'm working on it!). The passage I read yesterday was about learning how to make restful periods a part of your yoga practice. Instead of adopting a "no pain, no gain" attitude towards your body and yoga, give yourself permission to rest, and make resting an active part of your practice. He says:

"We enter a posture, the heat builds, and before long we want to get the heck out of Dodge. That is one option - retreat. But another option is to just back off a little within the posture, rest for a breath or two, and then see if you can deepen the pose."

Reading this passage was not super meaningful to me yesterday morning when I was groggy and struggling to just clear my mind for 5 minutes before work. But today, I found that it resonated in my mind quite a bit.

My living situation has been up in the air for months. And really, I have not felt settled anywhere since I graduated college 3 years ago. Over the weekend I found an apartment that I really fell in love with, and it seems as though everything is going to work out for me to move there. But today I learned that I'm not the only person applying for the place, and just that little nugget of information caused me to panic a tiny bit, and feel like my expectations were caving in and that I would probably never find a place to live, ever.

But then I took a deep breath, and then a few more, and I remembered what I had read yesterday morning. This is a difficult situation to be in, but can I find rest within it? Can I take a step back from my panic and stay grounded during this turbulence? The answer is yes, I can. Even though this is really challenging, and I feel scared and unsure about what my future holds, I can continue to breathe and make decisions that are right for me, without retreating.

So, here we go.

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