Friday, February 1, 2013


I'm new to the practice of Yin Yoga.  A few weeks ago, I was running late leaving work, and I missed my usual vinyasa class, but made it to a later class that I knew nothing about.  What ended up happening was that I got exactly what I needed from it.  Slow, intentional, deep postures with a narrative to accompany them provided by one of the most thoughtful yoga instructors I've come across to date.  I have stuck with this class each week when I'm in town, and it provides a nice counter-balance to my generally yang life.

This back story is intended to situate the learning from this week.  For the record, I'm not a huge fan of acronyms, and I tend to avoid them.  However, a little word play, I'm game for.  The instructor shared an idea, from a yin yoga text by Bernie Clark, regarding intentional and open-hearted living.  That's not, I don't think, as she framed it, but it's certainly what I took away.  She went through a series of thoughts and words that corresponded with the letters in "awaken."

The first, "A"--to allow.  The first suggestion being that we allow what is to be what is, and to acknowledge the truth of it.

The second, "W"--to watch or witness.  This is the most difficult for people, I think.  I have a tendency, when in new situations, to take in so much and to need so much processing time, that people have to prompt me to speak and to say what's on my mind.  I need this time to quietly take in what's around me, because there is so much I do take in.  I felt validated that this was a recommendation.

The third, "A"--act.  To act once you've taken the time to notice and acknowledge.

"K"--Keep going.  This is a tough one, yes?  This persistence that is only possible because of our resilient natures.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about resilience of late, and, thankfully, my own has resurfaced.

"E"--Expect goodness.  I don't love the word "expect," but I do appreciate the encouragement to always cultivate an attitude of positive presupposition for the world.

And, the lifelong quest--"N"--Now.  Live now.  I saw a lovely cartoon the other day where a dog was looking over at his human companion who was struggling to meditate, and the thought bubble above the dog said, "What else is there?"  Yes.

I've been allowing and watching for the past few months as I've made a rather huge life transition, for what seems like the millionth time in a short while, and I am so happy that I have reached a point where I feel it's time to act.  And I know that my actions are not a rejection of living in the now, but an extension of all that I've noticed and allowed to be.  There are these moments when I feel so truly awake and giddy even, and these, thankfully, are the emotions that are arising after the long wait of the settling in and figuring.  I'm tweaking the dials just a bit so my full self can come full circle in this situation.  And I think these ongoing tweaks most definitely require space and time to plan, so that they aren't reactionary, but they are truly based on what we need in the long term.  Yes.  Now.  I love this idea that I've circled back to this idea of awakening.  And how appropriate it is that we do awaken, literally and figuratively, again and again.

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