As Krishna says in the Gita, our first dharma is to take care of our bodies. When our bodies are healthy we can take care of more important things like our minds, others, the planet, ect...A lot of students I encounter in my journey as a teacher struggle when change occurs in the body. As a teacher who is a student herself, I can relate to this resistance to change, I know it well. The struggle of the mind to accept what the body is at any given moment in life. Having been at this for over 10 years now, I can comfortably say that no matter how much we fear change, resisting it will not cause it to not come. Resisting only causes more suffering. Giving into change, being accepting of what is, willing to listen to our bodies and adjust will allow us not only to not suffer, but to heal a lot faster from whatever ailment change has brought upon us. In my own student life I often feel the resistance of wanting to listen, but something has shifted over the years and I now find great pleasure in allowing the practice to change with my needs, and adapting it to what is here now at any given moment in life.
It is important to remember why we are doing this practice. Patanjali clearly states in his first four sutras that yoga is now, that in the now we have the opportunity to still the fluctuations of the mind in order to see and abide in the true essence of the Self, otherwise he says, we take the forms of our thoughts, or identify with these formations and therefore become stuck in suffering. When practicing, it is important to remember why we are doing this practice. We practice to heal, to continue to be healthy and unified in mind, body and spirit. When we chant the opening mantra we bow down to the Guru and to the practice which serves as a jungle doctor, to heal us from the poisons of the mind, and take us out of this repetitive cycle of birth and death, suffering and joy. As we put our hands together to evoke the chant we should remember this, and make a commitment to listen to our needs so we can grow out of suffering and not be stuck in it, more able therefore to listen to those of others, to attend to life as it requires of us.
I invite you all to trust, to not be attached to a form, to not be scared to lose something you may think you know so well, and know that by trusting and letting you, you can only gain more of what you may even know you need. I promise you this, as I've seen it on my path multiple times, and see it in the path of my students on a daily basis. You are all courageous beings and strong enough to listen to yourselves, trust that change is for our ultimate good, and you are not alone.
RETREATS COMING UP
ASHTANGA & MOTHERHOOD August 22-29 in Mallorca, Spain