Change and the mat

It matters more where you are and where you are going than where you’ve been.

If you've read some of my earlier posts you may have picked up on the fact that I am in a period of transition in life. Perhaps it's not so much a period as a maintained state at this point. From the day I began my teacher training I have been on an inner quest to deepen my understanding of myself. It's not the first time I've embarked on such a mission, you might even say I've never stopped, just changed intensity and methodology. This burst however is the most lasting and I plan for it to last much longer still. In fact I plan to be in a near constant state of growth and change for the rest of my days. Sounds tiring right?

In some ways it is, and in others not so much. It can be much harder to start a period of change or transition than it is to maintain or increase it. It can also be harder to do nothing and slide backwards, closing the eyes to the changes inside or to the demands of a toned body. Yoga is a mindfulness practice which sharpens the work of meditation through the physical practice of asana (poses). It is meant to be a long term endeavor, a seeking of enlightenment. Some describe enlightenment as a transitional state, a momentary experience, a place where you can see the perfection in all things as they are and integrate it into your reality. With practice these moments become longer and the space between them shorter, until someday you slip into nirvana and cease to exist as you were.

This week has been a lovely experience and affirmation of this work. I've been ruminating about change and transitions in life. A number of very positive things have occurred which are like signs from the universe that I am indeed going in the right direction. That it is time to completely let go of the old and embrace the new. As I've come to the mat each day I've been witnessing these changes manifest in my body. In the letting go of old stresses, in the strengthening of poses and muscle groups. As I feel the loosening and lengthening occurring, the release of gripping, I'm simultaneously brought to thoughts or experiences that brought those stressors to live in my body. It's as if Ganesha is there dancing around me pointing at the tightness and then plucking the blockage from my subconscious so that I might witness and clear it with my conscious mind.

This week has reminded me the power of the yoga mat as platform for transition and change, both physical and mental. Like any physical activity, you bring to it the past and through the practice in the current moment you lay the foundation for the future. It matters more where you are and where you are going than where you've been.

Namaste - rp