The other day I was helping a student in one of my restorative yoga classes adjust the prop set-up to support him more fully. As we were shifting a few blankets around he said something to the effect that he was tight and had some tension, as if to apologize. I replied, “No problem, we can work with that.” But what I wished I had added, in that moment, was the simple reminder that we all come to this practice as we are. We all bring what we bring to the mat.
If you’re tight and tense – that’ s ok.
If you’re overwhelmed and stressed, that’s ok
If you’re angry and sad, that’s ok
We can’t arrive any other way than how we are and still be truthful about it. But, we can watch, with open, kind, generous, non-judgmental minds and hearts – we can watch to see what shifts within us, trying to neither push away nor cling to whatever we’ve come with or what we’ve shifted toward.
This is what we do on our mats: we try to stay honest, present, and kind with ourselves. We learn to live with the truth of the moment, no matter how
hard that might be. We meet ourselves again and again, trusting that with time and awareness and patience things will shift as we need them to.
And, we explore this within the safety and support of the practice so that we can be honest, present and kind with ourselves off the mat.
My invitation to you is to start noticing how you arrive on your mat and to just be with that. As you practice, find moments to pause and check in so you begin to notice the shifts, no matter how subtle they are. And then try to bring that same honest awareness with you off the mat – noticing how you feel when you wake up - what you are bringing to your day - and finding moments throughout your day to pause and notice any shifts within you. See if you can simply start noticing where you are, how you are, and what you are bringing to each moment.
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