I let my yoga practice drop over a year ago now. I’ve felt bad about it because: 1. my body + mind + soul missed it, and 2. I had gotten pretty good at it. Running replaced my time on the mat. It provided me with just enough endorphin release to push forward with all the changes of these past months. But, every now and then, a little voice wondered: when are you gonna get back into it?
Well, the time has come. I may have made my travel more cumbersome, but I carried around my yoga mat with me throughout my 3 week Greece trip. The sun, the sea, the easy pace of life gently nudged me back into a practice I have loved and treasured for some time.
In this journey back to yoga, I’ve new-found gratitude…for the power of intention that surfaces before a practice, for the gift of the learned poses given to me my patient and soulful teacher, for the union my spirit finds with the body that holds it.
There’s a pose at the end of the primary series, right before sinking into restful Shavasana called उत्प्लुतिः Utplutiḥ, meaning “lift”…also known as Tolasana. In lotus position, spine lengthened and hands placed on the mat, you lift your legs and butt off the mat balancing and holding for 5 breaths. After having done a challenging practice of many poses already, for me it takes every last bit of strength left to hold. To enhance the experience, my teacher would always instruct: ok, lift and breathe…don’t forget to smile. I always wondered if the smiling was part of the pose. When asked, he simply said: Nope, I just add that in. Makes the pose easier, lighter.
A great lesson in a simple act. When life has got you exhausted, stretched, challenged to the point of giving up, the slightest shift (movement, mood, perspective…smile) can really be the lift needed to keep on.