That time when the yoga teacher fell off her zafu….
It has been about four whole weeks that I was back in Los Angeles, teaching a few privates, reviewing teacher training essays and catching up with my home life. In that amount of short time I got gripped by life. It wasn’t all my fault: I got swept up in the wonder of a relationship, there was a significant threat to my business, I had to put down a beloved pet sooner than I was prepared, and most of my life felt like it was wasting away as I sat in LA traffic aware that duties piled up on my desk at home. These things and more pulled me away from my dedicated discipline to my practice and thus, away from a source of inner wisdom that would have allowed me to have a better perspective about the events. What is interesting is that while this all started to fray my sense of containment, I was able to observe myself spin into the galaxy of anxiety and fear that comes from being unconnected to a sense of security. While I got caught up in the storm of life, I watched myself gently unravel with a distant amusement, aware that I was fully participating in the human experience. And that is OK.
“Life has a tendency to grip us,” quoted Rod Stryker.
Even the most disciplined yogis can get gripped. Maybe the point is to allow the gripping to happen, to fall into the spinning wheels in our mind, to get spit out and then look back to see how unnecessary it all was in the first place. Then we can develop tools and skills to protect us the next time a similar grip wants to happen. There is a section in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras that explains that the chaos of life is there for us to get caught up in it, only to realize that it’s all chaos, and to observe that everyone else is also caught up until they get that insight for themselves. The chaos is there for that very wisdom. We are not failures for being human and falling into the human experience.
What I have learned is to give myself permission to participate as a human, with doses of forgiveness if I get sloppy. After some rides on the chaos-wheel, I always return back to my practice with a renewed wisdom that the only way to handle the unknown is from being plugged into my heart’s wisdom. The only way to access that is through meditation, which is often nice in connection with a juicy asana practice. Life will continue to throw me curveballs. After a while, I can realize that they are not as important as my ego will try to persuade me, and I will refrain from falling off my zafu, remaining steady on the path, unaltered. Until the next unexpected chaos.
We are beautiful human beings, filled with flaws and talents.
Our practice helps us become equal to both sides of us, realizing that neither is better nor worse. That is when we can be fully at peace. I share my experience in the hopes that it helps you in some way. If you’ve fallen off your zafu or yoga mat, please return for it’s there that we will see Truth. If you slipped into being human, no bother. Embrace all parts of yourself for we are all loveable, wonderful, beings. The more we can accept ourselves, with our fantastic flaws, the more we can accept others. This might make for a kinder environment…..
All my love, flawed and fabulous,