For some reason, this particular day, this moment, this choice felt like a Turning Point – one of those forks in the road. Here’s my journey from a never ending merry go round to finishing my yoga routine with a sense of peace.
This is hard to admit, but every now and then I slide into a familiar, yet dismal, groove of “I’m not enough.” Like the angst of teen-aged years, I feel confused and inept. It’s not much fun. The good news is I don’t stay there long. Usually I pretty quickly slide back into a groove of enthusiasm and intention.
But not that day. 6:30am is early to start moving. But, it’s heavenly in the dark silent room with dozens of women and men moving through the Ashtanga Yoga routine. The only sound is deep Ujjayi breath*. Usually I relax into the gentle flow and spaciousness of each breath. Sometimes, to tell the truth, my mind runs round the hamster wheel of worry or planning during my 90 minute practice. Two weeks ago my mind was on a rampage.
Mad, determined, sad, my feelings finally slid into downright pathetic – full of pity for myself. There I was, aligning my movement and breath into a supposedly dynamic flow. Breathing deeply, arms above my head, plank, down to the floor, up-dog, down-dog, through the vinyasa flow into pose, transition, pose.
Stuck and unseeing, I moved like a robot, clunky and disconnected. Round and round the wheel of feeling. Arms up, arms down, one pose after another, with variation after variation of “Oh woe is me.” I had no idea there was so much to complain about, but that day I dredged it all up one after another!
Finally….I noticed. “I am repeating a really old mind pattern of not enough.” Wow. I thought I’d long ago transformed that mindset. Letting it be ok, my breath changed. I emerged from reaction to name my feelings. As if I was holding a young child with a bad ‘owie’, I softened my heart. Tension eased as I sent warm love throughout my body. I realized I have a choice. Once again. To focus on the small tight circle of my fears or rest in the larger circle of my wholeness.
I could smile again. My heart softened and the voice of my inner wisdom returned. And, my yoga practice, enlivened, led me into big energy to fuel my day.
What were your 2014 Turning Points? Celebrate them!
May you find many roads into your wisdom. Karen
*Ujjayi breath is a full breath which first fills the lower belly, rises to the lower rib cage, and finally moves into the upper chest and throat with a sound in the back of the throat while moving through asanas – physical or sitting poses. It’s sometimes called the “Ocean breath”.