Friday, October 28, 2011
Time to Fly
Planning seems to be all I've been doing lately. Planning ways to teach again, planning how I'll make some money, planning how we'll enjoy our first ski season in UT, planning how I'll volunteer at the girls' school, planning for the immediate and distant future. It's been a while since I've had to do so much plotting out of my life. I've forgotten how exhausting it can be. Being constantly grounded and working on my life's foundation again has made me energetically heavy. It's time for me to lighten things up again. This is also part of the reason that it's time for me to "fly", not only in my practice but in my life in general. Bringing that sense of lightness and ease back into my life will help to keep me from being bogged down in all the planning.
Don't get me wrong, my days have not all been filled with the weight of starting again. I have been thoroughly enjoying my free time. I have filled it with my natural surroundings. I have hiked and biked more in the past few months than I have done in many years, probably more than I have done at any other time in my life. If I already had a job and had gotten myself into other daily commitments I would not have the joy and wonderfully intense experience of seeing the seasons change around me in one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. I am truly grateful for this time and have immensely enjoyed it. It truly is the one thing that has kept me happy while working to reinvent myself yet once again. Being outside every day has also provided me with moments to "fly". Climbing to the peak of mountains to see the land spread out below me and cruising downhill on my bike while feeling the wind in my face are two ways that I feel those sensations of being free, of experiencing a sense of flight.
I need to feel this in my practice too. For those of us who seek to find our way through life's messy parts by taking to our yoga mats it is understood that the practice can create moments of transformation. Transformation not only in the practice of yoga itself but transformation in life as well. When I'm on my mat I can become whoever or whatever I want. I have the opportunity to be still like a rock, flow like a river or fly like an eagle. I can be as quiet as a mouse or as ferocious as a lion. My practice can help me find solutions to problems by calming my mind and releasing stress from my body. This week I need to fly. I'm not ready to take on the nobleness of an eagle but I do need to spread my wings and become light as the air. I'm taking Bakasana or crow (or crane) pose (http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/468 Yoga Journal, 2011) for this reason. Crow pose is all about inner balance. When looking at the pose one would assume that strong arms are needed. This is not the case. There is no need for physical strength. The ability to do the pose comes from inner focus and a sense of "I can do this" wonder. If doubt creeps in the pose collapses. One must take on a sense of self containment and let the outside world fade into the background. It's an interesting combination of "letting go" of anything beyond the physical body and "taking hold" of all that is within the skin.
Crows are humble and plentiful birds. You can find them anywhere in the US. They are sleek black and of moderate size. They can be loud and are social animals. I think right now I am more like a crow then any other animal. Now that I'm trying to find my place here in UT I find that I'm not that unique. I'm in an area where being a yoga teacher isn't that different, I have another yoga teacher in my neighborhood after all. I'm just one of the flock. For now I'm OK with that. I mean I need to become a part of the community before I can show them all how I'm different and special. In order to show people what makes me unique I need to get my wings back. I need to be fearless again, confident once more and comfortable being one of the crowd. While at the same time I need to let go of whatever thoughts and feelings I have projected into the people around me and take hold of all that I have within me. If I doubt myself I will fall but if I focus on all that is within me I will fly high.