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