I believe it is true that all life is yoga -- we are all connected, we are all part of the Divine Whole, there are infinite amounts of love and grace within each of us, our nature is divine, everything is temporary, the Universe is generous, we have everything that we need, etc., etc. But, I think we could also say that every moment is like a yoga pose. The different moments in life and the way I feel in these moments, who I am in these moments can be likened to different yoga poses, and the way I feel in them and who I am in them. Life is like one yoga pose after another.
Those moments when I am super blissed-out, feeling heart-wide-open and fully enlivened, and completely “hell-yeah” about life – those are my Urdhva Dhanurasana moments.
The moments when I need to invoke my inner ninja and access my own strength and power, the moments when I need to be that stealthy, non-violent ninja warrior who dwells within the balance of strength and surrender – those are my Virabhadrasana 3 moments.
When I am feeling more contemplative and introspective, reflecting on my own feelings, thoughts and intentions – these precious moments are my Paschimottanasanas.
When I know that I need to surrender, to let go of something, be it a thought, feeling, notion, opinion, or something else that no longer serves me or my higher good – these great moments of cleansing, of wringing it out are my twists.
Then there is the sweetest of them all -- dear Savasana -- the pose that reminds me that I am held, that I am supported, that I am a part of this infinite Love, this divine Grace. Savasana is like this sweet lullaby that comforts me, holds me and loves me for exactly who I am. And, it reminds me that because of Who walks with me through every step of this journey, there is no reason to fear.
And, sometimes life just puts you in an experience that makes you feel just as unsteady, compressed, challenged, vulnerable and anxious as you might in your least favorite yoga pose, leaving you wanting to know how many more breaths you will be there, aching to find relief from the intensity, desperately yearning to move straight into that joy-invoking Urdhva Dhanurasana. Pretty much just wanting to be anywhere but “here.”
While at certain times in life I may not like the “pose” I am in, I recognize that it is part of this flow. It is part of this journey. I remember everything that all of the poses in my life have ever taught me. See, for me, when I find myself in the most difficult and challenging experiences, well, it’s game time. Every experience, every pose, every word and every breath has brought me to this very moment, to this time when I get to pay homage to this beautiful practice and rely on what I know to be true. This is my opportunity to call upon who I know myself to be in other poses, in other times of my life, and I draw these qualities, these strengths in to my present self with my breath. I let the joy of Urdhva Dhanurasana move through me as I notice the sweetness in even the most difficult moments. I step into my stealthy ninja warrior self, knowing that I have the strength within me to be here now. I allow myself to be reflective and contemplative about the profundity of this experience. I know that I don’t have to hold on to the suffering, that I can surrender the things that separate me from my higher good, and I allow myself to rest in the knowing that I do not walk alone. I know that even in the midst of the struggle, I can breathe in the beauty, the wonder and the miracle of it all.
I know that within me I have the strength the power and the grace to endure, even though there are moments where I feel incredibly weak and powerless. I know that embodying my own stealthy ninja strength doesn’t mean that there will no longer be moments of fear, sadness and trepidation that will knock me off my feet. It just means that I will continue to stand up again no matter how many times I fall. It means that no matter how much life pushes back at me, no matter how uncomfortable I am in this pose, in this moment, I will continue to breathe through it, embracing the impermanence of all of it.
But, the reality is this -- when the pose is called out, the pose is called out. So, if you are in it…really be in it. Be all in for every moment of it, knowing that eventually this pose will dissolve into the next. Just as it does in class, so it does in life. Nothing will remain the same. All of it is temporary.