“Sometimes we are living the in-between times: when we’re no longer who we used to be. But we haven’t yet arrived at our next stage either… we’re always on the road to the next stage, whether we are days old or decades old. The spirit of life is diminished by the time. In the present moment, our task is to let go of what was with love or even somehow embrace what emerges next….” -Marianne Williamson
This is the gift change.... but often change is hard to accept.. When my relationship with my yoga practice started to shift, when the realization settled in that I was not able to practice as much as I would like or had in my past. Suddenly, yoga shifted as something that was apart me, to something that I used to do in the past. I had to scramble and piece myself back together as my relationship to such a beautiful practice began to change dramatically.
The missing puzzle piece was behind the beautiful lessons within this sacred practice that I needed to go back and re-visit. The 8 limb yoga path offers guidance and insight on how to live a purposeful life. The first two limbs of the 8 limb path are the yama's and niyamas. The yama's are defined as the restraints or moral disciplines or moral vows. These vows, disciplines or practices are primarly concerned with the world around us and our interaction with it. Yes, yoga can serve as a physical practice but the yama's can serve as moral code both on and off the mat.
The Yama's are as follows:
- Ahimsa: "Non-violence"
- Satya: "Truthfulness"
- Asteya: "Non-stealing"
- Brahmaycra: "Celibacy" or "right use of energy"
- Aparigrhara: "Non-hoarding" or "Non-attachment"
The last one was the missing puzzle piece. Non-attachment can show up in every aspect of your life, be it with your relationship with food, our homes with our possessions, in our minds, & in relationships.
This concept is a fascination, as my relationship to yoga practice has shifted in two ways, the first is how to practice, “aparigrhara” in the mind and the second in relationships. As cliché as saying it’s all about the journey not the destination. How do I have learned this to be true. As we remember change is the only constant. I still loved my practice but had to accept the fact that the manner in which the practice showed up in my life. It wouldn’t be the hot 1 hour and 30 minute sessions I was used to with incredible instructors. It was now on my own for an even shorter period time, which even called for more self-discipline to practice on my own and hold myself accountable in ways, I had not been called on myself to do so before.
The counterproductive thoughts that manifested, “if it’s not an hour long practice, it’s doesn’t count, or it won’t make a difference.” Then why do the practice? The meaning behind Krishna’s saying is “we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation, we should only concern ourselves with what we are actually doing right now as we work towards that outcome.”
Stop thinking, if I only practice or meditate for 15 minutes it will not be enough, I will not feel as great, had I practiced for an hour. Without thinking about the outcome, think about the intention behind your practice, just go for it! This is one form of practicing "Aparigrhara" on the mat. The other ways in which my relationship changed was with teaching yoga. Again, the time was shorter, and learning how teach in a different culture was challenging, first with the language then, the context. I was introducing a whole new concept to Guatemalan culture and to my students. Worried with if they would understand it, or get the intention behind the classes….
Non-attachment in relationships
Clinging to tightly to the outcome. I wanted my students to love yoga as much as I did. So, thinking that I must teach them everything and the meaning behind it without giving them the time and space to interpret for themselves. I was not fully loving my students… to love means engagement without clinging, it means care with release…. it means to give with full range of motion, + space to exist in their lives.
It means managing our own lived experience just as much as we allow them theirs. It is allowing them space to make mistakes, to be imperfect (forever), to have space to live their own lives, that are separate from ours….
Wow!... that is love? When you think about it that way, I realize I believed wrong all this time. The moment when all you believed comes tumbling down. It is painful. It is painful because there is danger in loving too hard. "It is dark because you are trying to hard child." Go lightly child... you realize that you were crazy to hold on so tightly. And now you must begin again, like a child on the first day of school, like fool. The walls tear down so you can start fresh and begin anew.
And when you feel change in your bones as painful as it is, learn the lesson(s) you need you learn, accept them and"move on, but do it for yourself and no one else. Do it because it is the right thing to do, do it to heal, do it to prove to yourself that you’re worth saving. Do it because you should love yourself more than anyone else + lastly, do it because deep down inside of you, you know you deserve more.” RMD