Life is in the Transitions

(also the title of Bruce Feiler’s latest book, which is now on my reading list 😉 )

Dear Friends,

How are you feeling today?

I invite you to notice your next breath & the transition between inhale & exhale. How are you feeling today?

I’ve been feeling nostalgic & melancholy. Last night, Jim, our boys & I drove to Ohiopyle where we found an un-personed spot along the river to let the boys swim:

Our boy, Tortilla … dry for the moment 😉 … the stick-retrieving soon to ensue!

As we sat at the Youghiogheny Loop Takeout, I looked at the rapid for the kayak line — Charlie’s Washing Machine (avoid), Frog’s Back (fun sneak line) — & realized that, after not getting in a kayak for almost 2 years now, I may not kayak this river again.

I reflected, nostalgic, remembering the times of skirting in & out of the waves & eddies — never a pro kayaker by any means, yet always endeavoring for smooth lines & strokes. THAT was my joy — the transitions — the smooth sailing in my Dagger RPM.

A deep sigh. A tinge of sadness. And a boatload of gratitude for the opportunities this river has afforded me. And will continue to afford me in new ways as we transition in our relationship with one another.

Given the “positive vibes only” Western yoga culture, my feelings are uncomfortable to some, even to myself. I’m “supposed” to emanate these hyper-smiley vibes because I practice Yoga. More so because I teach its practices. 

Well, let’s set that thinking to rest right here. If you’re seeking a positive-vibes-only human to practice Yoga with, I may not be your gal ;). **

As I’ve gone through many transitions in my Yoga practice & teaching, what I CAN offer is this: 

A continuous, messy, & seeking process.

This process to understand my own self better. First & foremost, I am a student of the Himalayan Tradition.

This process to offer what I’m finding supportive, revealing, rejuvenating, clarifying from the Yoga practices of the Himalayan Masters. I am a teacher within a time-tested, lineage-based, & living tradition.

What I shared 5 years ago is different from what I’m sharing today … hence, the “living tradition” which evolves as humankind & the planet evolve. And I hope what I’m learning & offering 5 years from now will evolve as well.

A book I’ve picked up by Justin Michael Williams titled “Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us” demystifies this idea that meditation is meant to make us “feel better.”

Not so.

Meditation (which is Yoga) is meant TO MAKE US FEEL.

If you have a meditation practice, you know this ;). If you’ve tried a meditation practice, you may have tasted this fact — you may have felt bliss, peace, boredom, anger, joy, agitation, “when the hell is this going to be over” — & maybe in the first minute of your practice!

What if life is in this transition FROM an unattainable stereotype of Yoga as bliss … TO Yoga as one method (of many) to get to know ourselves better, with all our foibles & feelings & most of all radiance?

What transitions are you experiencing? How are feelings coming up for you? Do you notice discomfort, a fix-it mentality, a sitting-with these feelings? (no judgment, just an opportunity to notice)

May you feel all the feels today. May you be gentle with yourself. May we be gentle with each other. You are loved.

Baxter & Tortilla – brothers from different mothers 😉

**Note: There are Yogis & Yoginis out there who radiate positivity authentically, while also acknowledging their more challenging feelings as part of the process. Pema Chodron comes to mind …

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

2 thoughts on “Life is in the Transitions

  1. Very poignant. I truly appreciate the perspective of being ok when we are not ok. (I love that song in KLOVE!) It’s ok to not be positive all the time; to allow ourselves to experience all the feelings; to show grace and resilience through God’s forgiveness and love. If you don’t mind me asking, why don’t you kayak anymore?


    1. Hiya Dawn! Thank you for your thoughts … I haven’t heard that song, will have to look up! … as for kayaking, a few reasons — mental blocks a few years ago, & also physical — injuries that have made sitting in a boat for a length of time a bit painful 😉 … Who knows what the future will bring? Thanks for asking :).


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