Yoga Through Adversity – True beauty and courage is in the clarity of being alone with our questions.

True beauty and courage is in the clarity of being alone with our questions.

Yoga Through Adversity – True beauty and courage is in the clarity of being alone with our questions.

Even though the practice of yoga may be unfamiliar to many, life’s many adversities are not. We all at some time, and quite often, experience the anomaly of life’s difficulties. Adversity can feel messy, muddy and downright ugly. When staring out from our shells adversity can make us feel stuck and question our very life path itself. It often nudges us to look outside ourselves to choose something different, or to push along the path until we press up against the refuge of ease.
Over the years my yoga practice has been this very refuge from the density and fatigue of adversity. How does a practice of a string of postures bring quiet and reflection to the nagging tendrils of adversity? Well, if you shape the space inside of yourself it becomes the harbor in the storm. It becomes the soft place to land.
Often the practice of yoga does not even involve moving, quite the opposite; it is the sacredness of not moving, it is the “becoming still” that provides the reprieve. It is sweeping the mind clear of the cluttered thoughts of fear and doubt; it is about clearing the sky of the mind.
Some days it does involve coaxing your body to shape shift, to move out of linear movement and towards the freedom of circular wave like movement. We all long for this. There is freedom trapped within our form and some days the path way to release it is about moving. Truthfully, we crave the shape of the postures because of a feeling it instills us. If we need to ground, the architecture of the body intertwined with breath can take us there. If we are uncertain, the long clean lines can create order within our systems. When the exhaustion of our fear sets in, the courage and softness that accompanies us moving through the dance of yoga resets our entire perception of life.
We need nothing to practice, not the right clothes, or a mat, or a studio. We do however; have to invite a willingness, to just get there. To get to that place inside where we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable with what is as it arises, ugly or uncomfortable.
We do not have to be without pain, physical or emotional, we do not need to be in shape to start or wait for the “right time” we just have to begin, with a single conscious breath and a comforting nudge from the softness of our hearts. We have to be willing to not know, but to feel…to feel for what we need. When we cannot feel at all we must be willing to wait and remain raw in the open landscape of “I just don’t know what to do next” this is courage…it is our courage that carries us through our adversity no matter how edgy and sharp it is…our yoga practice gives us the time and freedom to test out our courage. True beauty and courage is in the clarity of being alone with our questions.
We live in an accelerated time, our senses are on over drive and our bodies are taxed. We do however have the capacity to learn how to slow down the hamster wheel of the mind and come back to feeling. Not a surface kind of feeling; the kind of feeling that comes from the pit of your stomach or from your aching low back or from your shoulders that carry the weight of the world. Our bodies will try to get our attention any way they can. So what if we listened? What if our work was in creating soft, appropriate and graceful responses to the often loud demands of the body and mind? What if we tended the very environments of our entire beings with compassion and reverence? What if we didn’t abandon ourselves? What if we stayed and explored just a little longer… What if yoga was our plan to move through adversity? I think you might surprise yourself with the gifts it offers.

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Ahimsa Yoga