“Yoga is about making friends with life and with yourself. There is no lifestyle, no occupation, no situation that cannot be greatly enhanced by yoga. Yoga is not something that should be set apart from one’s life. Rather it should become the taproot from which the other aspects of your life are nourished and regenerated.” ~ Godfrey Devereaux
Welcome to March’s promise of spring. This time of the year always feels like a dangling carrot promising possibility: cherry blossoms, daffodils peeking up through the barren earth, and the shedding of layers that burden us throughout winter. We’re offering oodles of events, classes, and retreats to assist you with blooming into spring – a documentary screening of Vegucated, a day trip to Pigs Animal Sanctuary, a weekend Art + Yoga retreat in West Virginia, and more! I’m so ready to see what lies beneath the surface after our mild, yet long winter.
The above quote by Devereaux always warms my heart and encourages regular reflection, “Is this decision in line with living my yoga?” As you know, at Tranquil Space we focus on yoga as a lifestyle – well beyond the physical practice of poses. Our thoughts, words, and actions have the power to spread kindness . . . or not. As yogis, we’re encouraged to choose wisely. What does a flawless handstand matter if we make everyday choices that aren’t aligned with values? Ideally the practice of yoga seeps into every aspect of our being beckoning us to become more and more mindful.
On February 20th I lost my beloved 99-year-old Gramma. That’s her in the above collage doing yoga with me before her 95th birthday fete in 2007. Adorable, and, yes, I’m super biased! I flew in to Texas for a weekend of Gramma snuggles without a clue this would be the end of her journey. Sometimes life has a way of working out well beyond our best laid plans. It was so sacred to be there with her.
During her final days I cuddled her, held her hands, and massaged her scalp while remaining fully present despite my (undesirable) penchant for multitasking. Time stood still during these three days and nothing else mattered. In my mind, the world literally stopped turning. I credit yoga and my burgeoning mindfulness practice for the ability to be so present with her when she needed it most. In addition, my practice of yoga is helping me through the intense grief – deep breaths, child’s pose, and heaps of savasana. Yes, yoga continues to nourish and regenerate during this challenging cycle of life.
As I prepare to move forward sans Gramma, I am dreaming of shifts that will help ensure I’m living my life fully and as intentionally as possible. She always did so with such grace, a big smile, and pink lipstick. To shed light on her legacy, here’s her obituary – truly a remarkable woman! Again, I know I’m a bit biased. Sometimes it takes something so tragic as losing my favorite person to encourage a step off of the hamster wheel to slow down and truly reflect. Lesson duly received (thanks, Universe) and I plan to take a step back to reflect, rest, and grieve this spring.
Want to join me in reflection? It’s so easy to go through life on auto-pilot reacting only to daily drama and we all know there is lots of it. Yet, it truly takes such effort to slow down and reflect – to be proactive versus reactive. One of my favorite quotes to highlight this is by Henry David Thoreau, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Wow, now THAT is yoga!
So I ask, are you still taking one step daily toward your 2012 dreams? Do the intentions you set at the beginning of the year still resonate and align with your values? How would your life look if you were truly living deliberately? Sometimes a few simple moments alone with your thoughts in meditation or writing in your journal can bring great clarity on next steps.
May I suggest a few reflective experiences for March? Relish in simple pleasures. Take your vitamins. Spend time with friends. Soak in the tub. Take a yin class. Call your mum. Walk the Tidal Basin to view cherry blossoms early in the morning before the crowds. Do legs up the wall. Join the photo of the day challenge. Sip hot tea (sweet rose by Tulsi is divine). Pen a thank you note. Express yourself. Dance. Smile at strangers. Take a few moments to just be – no agenda.
A reading I’ve shared for the past decade includes, “No matter how dark the night, morning always comes. No matter how cold the winter, spring always comes.” It’s almost here, how will you make it count? May spring offer you fresh insights, cherry blossoms, and sacred time for regeneration. Join me on the journey. Namaste.