november musings: coming hOMe

“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”

Elizabeth Lawrence
Happy November. It’s a magical time of the year and the start of the holiday season. As I sat down to write this month’s muse, I was reflecting on what an interesting year of changes and growth 2010 has been for me. Getting through two surgeries (torn rotator cuff + bone spur and arthritis in thumb), making major shifts in my yoga practice, and adjusting to a new part-time position at N Street Village for graduate studies, it’s been a whirlwind of change and transition. When your rock is pulled out from under you, life shifts . . . and you search for new rocks or new ways of doing things.

Yoga has been my rock for 15ish years and my inability to practice as I know it has had intense effects on my mind, body, and spirit. When I was given the green light to return to yoga after my first surgery this spring, I was overwhelmed with emotion during the practice – truly filled with such gratitude for the ability to move in a way that my body has come to adore . . . and need! Then it was time for my second surgery complete with a pink cast. That’s been off for a few weeks and my doctor said we’d chat about my return to weight bearing exercise on November 8. Yep, I’ve been counting down the days and it happens to be two days before I head to India to co-lead my first retreat there. Perfect timing! However, after a challenging day last Thursday, I knew I had to hit the mat. Sure it was a bit early, but I know to modify, my body was begging for it, and it was an *amazing* experience. Yoga truly is like coming home.

As a practitioner for almost 15 years and teacher for 11 years, yoga has become a way of life. I’ve tried to stay mindful of the foundation of yoga – yamas and niyamas – during my inability to practice physically as I know it and have developed a greater love for the practice of meditation and mindfulness. My practice has been more yin, restorative, very slow flow – all variations I adore, but I also miss my beloved chaturangas! That one is a long time coming, but I have hope mingled with a dash of patience.

The beauty of yoga is that we can practice it on the bus, in line at the bank, over Thanksgiving meal with family, AND on the yoga mat. As you move through this beautiful month, I encourage you to take time to sit still, watch the leaves turn, and reflect on your practice of yoga. What does it bring you? Do you notice shifts when you miss a practice? Does the mantra lokah samasta sukino bhavantu (Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.) resonate with you and cause reflection during your everyday?

May November fill you with a sense of gratitude for the ability to move your body through the practice of yoga. It is truly a gift and we are grateful to have you sharing it with us at Tranquil Space.

Kimberly Wilson

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