Realization of Self

Well I didn’t need to come to India again to be reminded what was already within me. Haven’t I already heard the spiritual message – you already are what you seek? For whatever divine reason, here I am. I was meant to be here with these other seekers at exactly this time and place, to explore my inner world and challenge my beliefs and thinking…yet again. We were reminded over and over again, that we are so much more than just the “person” we think we are.

So often in our lives we question our purpose, our worth, our happiness. We bitch about the most minor of things and freak out if someone gets our coffee order wrong. We take things so personally and feel we are hard done by. Though we may say we are blessed and tell ourselves we have so much to be grateful for, there often seems to be an underlying dissatisfaction with the “way things are”; a wishing for something different. We might not even notice it but in our thoughts, speech and actions we perpetuate the discord with long drawn out stories, overthinking, grudges, and hurts; with longing and wanting something more. I didn’t realize how this was building in me; how could I feel unhappy when everything seemed to be going so well in my life? Probably because I was giving energy to the stories by re-hashing them over and over in my mind!

Nothing like travelling in a developing country to put things in perspective. I quickly went from “woe is me” to feeling very humbled. From the brick makers to the tile makers to the barefoot rickshaw drivers to the weavers to the tea pickers, I saw REAL work unfolding in front of me, with determination, commitment, and long hours. When you’re making bricks, one after the other under the hot sun, you likely have no time to even think about what someone said to you in anger two weeks ago, or how you missed out on something last year, or worry about what will happen tomorrow. All you can do is be fully present in the moment and pay attention.

I have a bigger appreciation for what we take for granted…just to name a few things: clean water, shoes, dental care, two cars in a garage, food, a toilet…My perceived problems seemed so insignificant in comparison; so “western” and even ridiculous at times.

So with this more humbled attitude, I vowed I would show more appreciation to all who provided service. My smiles and genuine gratitude were met with the same from the taxi drivers to the food servers to the woman selling her wares in the street. I asked their names and about their families and they were so happy to share a small part of themselves. Don’t we all want connection, heart to heart, no matter what station in life?

During my yoga retreat, we were invited to take a so-called “direct” route to understanding of the Higher Self, through the applied wisdom of Advaita Vedanta. Guided by the teachings or “pointings” from such ancient masters as Adi Shankara and Ramana Maharshi, and modern guides such as Mooji, Eckart Tolle and Deepak Chopra, we learned that our human tendency is to relate to our reality from the perspective of “person” through the beliefs, ideas, and conditioning we have gathered throughout our lives. Our self-awareness is driven by this illusion that we are who we believe ourselves to be based on things like status, education, appearance, material things, who we associate with, where we live, what has happened to us…the list goes on and on. These beliefs are so deeply engrained in us and colour our views of self and others.

During the retreat, rather than trying to analyze our mental states, or re-hash the stories, or even focus on self-help and improvement techniques, we were asked to just DROP IT ALL and rest in the “I Am”. We asked our minds to let go of the beliefs, the thoughts, the concepts and theories and ideas of our identities as we knew them – just for a short time…so we could see what it was like to be free of those bindings. We let go of all thinking about ourselves as “persons” and we simply rested in “presence”. We practiced bearing witness to what was unfolding in front of us without reaction; remaining neutral and just emptying the mind of all labels; observing and accepting without judgment.

It takes practice and patience in a gentle compassionate way not to engage the ego mind. This is not about zoning out…It is about being fully present. At first, so much resistance came up in me with irritation, frustration, impatience, and “ya…but…” thoughts. I questioned the method, doubted the theory, and somehow felt “I” knew better. The ego mind reared its head and tried to convince me that it couldn’t be this simple. I journaled like crazy and chanted and forward-bended and tried so hard to understand. Striving…seeking…endless effort.

But then one day, I gave up; I surrendered. I wrote in my journal, “I AM SO DONE WITH THIS GAME!” It was taking so much effort and energy trying to achieve BEING- ness that I realized resistance is futile. I couldn’t blame it on anything or anyone other than my own mind – clearly I was the master of my own misery.

One of my teachers reminded me, “Beneath all the anger, jealousy, fear, questioning, doubt, and broken heartedness, is RADIANCE and that is your natural state – your Being-ness. Just be silent and be aware without trying so hard. Just BE.” Okay…I’m willing…I will let it go; not just saying it but REALLY letting it all go.

Gradually the clouds in my head cleared and I was able to rest in the spaciousness of Presence. I felt it. I understood it. Somewhere deep in my Being I tapped into Self. No judgment, critical thinking, or evaluation…just Being. And from that place all my concerns and ruminations melted; past was gone and future wasn’t even a thought. All that was there was PRESENCE (call it God, Spirit, Oneness, or whatever) and a great freedom from all the bullshit I had concocted in my mind. This was not just a one-time experience; it is feeling of transformation and realization. But don’t take my word for it…you have to discover it for yourself.

As I spend my final days in India near the Arabian Sea, I am in awe of life as it presents itself moment to moment. We are exactly where we need to be right at this time with open arms and loving hearts. With my trusty travel partner, Debb, we have experienced authentic yoga in its birthplace, communed with nature and its bugs and birds, and witnessed both the beauty and hardship of life unfolding in front of us. I’ve been ant-bitten and wind-swept, dehydrated and dirty, stomach-crampy and cranky…but I’ve also been elated, peaceful, content and free. Just ebbing and flowing with what IS.

I am still getting nudges from the ego mind and will continue to work on dismissing its influence, but it’s getting easier to auto-shift back into Presence. From the place of the Higher Self we see others in a similar light, looking past their own mistaken identities and understanding we are all the same at the core. As the wisdom traditions suggest, we are ONE. From this perspective it is much easier to forgive and move on. From this perspective we can still do all our work in the world and live with others from a more open place.

I am more ready than ever to embrace life…MY life…and all those people and energies and happenings in it, with gratitude, salutations, blessings, acceptance, and love…not needing anything more or anything less. Blissed or pissed, I’m coming home, my Loves, to shine my light and to see the light in you. See you soon.

Namaste…

Worship

Temples, churches, monuments, and shrines…India is such a place of devotion and worship. From Hindus to Christians, Muslims to Jews; from avatars to deities, from fire to rain…there are so many different forms and variations of faith.

As we toured these historical places, we learned some of the traditional Hindu stories of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and their consorts, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. It was explained that these gods and goddesses are in fact an expression of the Supreme One, with both masculine and feminine aspects that together, represent oneness. Our guide said these gods and goddesses work as a team, like complementary energies. Some of the stories were also about mischief, play, and competition. Below is a cosmic dance-off between Shiva and Parvati. The story tells of Shiva (on the right) showing off by lifting one leg up in the air to one-up his wife. Her downcast gaze shows she is not impressed! Hmmm, some things haven’t changed between couples in thousands of years…

Here is “Krishna’s Butterball“, an amazing natural phenomenon! Even through tsunamis and earthquakes, this ball of rock has not budged. I was praying that the day I took the photo was NOT the day it chose to roll…

Spiritual tradition is evident in the ongoing practices of the people from elaborate temple rituals to simple offerings of marigolds. I heard morning prayers from mosques over loud speakers and singing of Catholic hymns in Tamil in beautiful churches. But what stood out for me was the practical everyday wisdom departed by our tour guide, Jishoy. He reminded us,

The absence of light is darkness. With a single ray of light, darkness is transformed.

This was simple yet profound and reminded me of the way to BE. Not living in the darkness of judgment, criticism, anger, or fear, but letting in some light…perhaps just the light of a simple smile. No clearer did I see this as in the tour group dynamic, where we were navigating new things together that weren’t always in our comfort zones or up to our western expectations. Instead of complaining and wishing for something else, all we could do at times was practice patience, muster a smile and let things be. Keep calm and smile on…

As I sit in the Mumbai airport waiting two more hours (on top of the three I’ve already waited) for a delayed flight to Goa, I can’t truly say that praying to Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Shiva (“the remover of obstacles”) is going to make a difference. So I’ll just smile and wait, trusting I’ll get where I need to be in due course…

Meeting, Greeting, and Eating

Three of my favourite things are happening daily here in India. Meeting new people – from my tour mates to the shopkeepers to the villagers to the wonderful hotel staff to the chefs who graciously give us cooking demos to our super knowledgeable tour guide…I have so many new friends! Including a young woman named Krishnavani from a poor village area who invited us in to her tiny mud roof home and proudly showed us around the two cramped but tidy small rooms she shared with her brothers and parents. The children here are not looking for money. They are asking for pens! I happily gave away all my markers and they were thrilled!

Everyday we are greeted with smiles. Of course, as tourists with white skin, we are the attraction…but the waving and picture taking and the inquisitive “where you from Ma’am?” from schoolchildren and others is so genuine. Compare this to our own society where eye contact is avoided in the street, where no one talks in the elevator, and where one keeps to oneself on the bus, ear buds plugged in. I am reminded daily that a simple greeting sends a huge wave of happiness.

And the eating…oh my what glorious meals! The food has been market fresh, beautifully prepared, displayed and portioned with care, and so varied as we move from town to town on this culinary tour. South Indian food is spicy but so flavourful and my new favourites are dosas, sambar (a lentil, okra, and tomato soup I love to eat at breakfast!), roasted cashews on the roadside, and South Indian coffee – a delectable brew of strong coffee and boiled milk served in a small stainless steel cup. Our chefs have personally come to meet us and share their recipes with pride!

So far this trip has been a sensory extravaganza with all 5 senses fully engaged. Living life with eyes wide open, ears perked, taste buds tingling, inhaling and exhaling, and reaching out instead of holding back, right here, right now. Yoga – “union” – each and every moment.

Next blog – temple tidbits!

Colourful India

Ahhh India…from the moment I stepped off the plane in Delhi it hit me. Not the smog or the chaos or the noise or the hoards of people (that’s a given anyway…); it was the colours. The vibrant hues of life, both glorious and messy at the same time. Once you get past the initial shock and awe and start to settle in to your surroundings, you can let go, open up your eyes and your heart, and fully embrace the experience. That is why I am here, not to shy away from life but to live it, as a guest in this faraway place. As I walked through the airport to find my driver, I spotted this amazing sculpture of Surya Namaskara – twelve beautiful bodies in each pose of a sun salutation.

It was the perfect “welcome to India” for me and a reminder how daily devotion, whether it is through yoga asana or meditation or prayer, is such a central part of life here.

Flew to Chennai and on the road – now life gets really colourful! Manoeuvring through the streets of life in India requires skill, focus, strategy, and a lot of horn honking. No matter what town or village, the scene is the same! Chaotic yet strangely orderly, it seems to work.

Eventually we made it to the ocean and Marina Beach in Chennai. This huge expanse of beach was filled with people celebrating a holiday just the day before. It was hard to imagine just how many people were here…

At the end of the beach used to be a slum. We were told that the government cleaned it up and built proper housing for the residents. More apartments were in the process of being erected and it filled me with such hope for those in such hard circumstances.

Literally right across from the ocean, these new residences could have easily been worth millions in a western city. Instead they were given to underprivileged people to improve their way of life. Many of these residents were fishermen and their families. Daily the men went out to fish and the women sold the fresh catch on the side of the road. What didn’t sell would be dried in the sun and preserved and sold later. A small makeshift shrine was in the process of being assembled by a few women; a shrine for prayers of protection, safe voyage, and prosperity…Don’t we all just want the same?

It’s hard not to be bothered by this in-your-face reality of hardship. But we are all born into different places in this world so we must do what we need to do and if able, help our fellow humans in whatever way we can. As I climbed aboard our air conditioned bus, I silently sent wishes and blessings for peace and ease to this neighbourhood. I trust it was received.

We drove on to our own new home for a couple of days beside the Bay of Bengal at a beautiful resort filled with palm trees and birds and fragrant smells. A very different colour of life…

Time to welcome another day of exploration. It’s still dark out but I can hear the fishing boats off in the distance as they embark on another hopeful journey. Today we discover Mahabalipuram! More to come…

Namaste…or as they say in Tamil, “Vanakkam” ūüôŹūüôŹūüôŹ

Anne

A New Year of Exploration

Welcome to 2019…a new year of discovery! I have a t-shirt that says, “Explore the world, Discover your self” and the phrase couldn’t be more true for me this year as I embark on another journey to India. I know I don’t have to go to the other side of the world for self-discovery as I’m unearthing things about myself every day right here in my own backyard. But there is something about a journey to a faraway land…perhaps a pilgrimage…that makes this seem like more of a big deal. Like I’m on the brink of learning something so profound, yet so simple.

Five years ago, I went to north India as a yoga student to study and live in an ashram. This time I am going to south India, partly as a tourist (guided through temples and villages and historical sites) and partly as a yoga practitioner and still a student (immersed in a retreat of self-study, practice, and holistic living). With an open mind and open heart, I look forward to visiting a place so different from my own home, yet somehow it feels like I’m going home…or I’m being called home. Strange how my heart feels such a tug to this country.

At the start of a new year, we all may feel like we are embarking on a new journey. An opportunity to let go of the year past and start this year with a clean slate. New hopes and dreams for the upcoming months and intentions for wellness; goals and milestones to achieve; and the shifting out of unsupportive patterns. So much to do it seems this month…However, we must remind ourselves that EVERY day offers this possibility. In fact, every time we end a yoga class in¬†Savasana (corpse pose) or wake up each morning is a chance to start fresh. To shed a few layers, rejuvenate and restore, and then awaken again, re-born so to speak. We don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve or a full moon or the end of a month. It can happen on a moment to moment basis, breath to breath.

Today’s mini-journey is to finish the laundry, pay my bills, and clean up the piles left after Christmas. In two weeks, the journey will be to get on the plane and fly across the world, expanding beyond my backyard to a magical place full of new experiences. Wherever I go, there I am…exploring and discovering. I will post the occasional updates on this blog while I’m away, but mostly I want to just BE in the moment.

Happy New Year to you all and may we all navigate this moment/day/month/year with mindfulness, acceptance, patience, and love!

 

Purification and Rejuvenation

Ahhh…I just returned from 10 days in sunny (but cool) California, feeling cleansed, re-balanced, and refreshed after attending the Chopra Center’s signature program, “Perfect Health”. This was an opportunity for me to immerse myself in the traditional practices of Ayurveda,¬†yoga, and meditation in a modern way: in an urban setting with top-notch amenities and services; blending the teachings of yogic philosophy with the latest scientific research of the mind, genetics, and human behaviour; and amidst the daily challenges of trying to live a spiritually connected life in a demanding, noisy, modern world.¬†I was guided, supported, and nurtured throughout, in ways I never imagined. This program was truly therapy for the body, mind, and soul.

From the moment I arrived in California, I knew this was exactly what I needed. Not a California vacation necessarily, but a getaway where I could work on myself. Normally I enjoy our Canadian winters, snow and all…but this year the cold, damp, and heaviness was getting to me more than ever. I was feeling sluggish, down, unhappy, worried, and stuck…plus my shoulder and neck were giving me such grief that no amount of physio or massage seemed to alleviate. It wasn’t the climate, though, that was causing my feelings of imbalance (although I was reminded that according to Ayurveda, seasonal climate changes can aggravate an already out-of-balance system). It was months/years/decades of stuck emotions; less than optimum diet for my own specific constitution; not enough physical movement; rumination over and clinging to old thoughts, experiences, and beliefs; fear of the unknown and what ifs; and negative self-talk that all really created the imbalance in the first place.

This might sound familiar to you, too. In fact, when I looked back on my blogs, I realized that exactly this time last year I was feeling the same “off-ness” (see my post Mountain Meltdown).¬†But this time I decided to take more definitive action and go deeper. I realized that ALL this disquietude was within my own control to change, but I needed some guidance – some “professional” help. One of the items on my bucket list was to one day attend this Chopra Center program so I made it a reality, hopeful that I would discover the root of my angst, get it out of my system, and find some peace before this dis-EASE really showed up as disease.

Ayurveda says that when one’s body, mind, and soul are in balance and in tune with natural rhythms, then one is in a state of perfect health. What does that really look like or feel like? How about this: JOYFUL ENERGETIC BODY, LOVING COMPASSIONATE HEART, REFLECTIVE ALERT MIND, LIGHTNESS OF BEING. If you’re anything other than that, then something is out of balance! So knowing that, we can take steps to first purify the body and mind, rejuvenate it to bring it back into balance, then maintain this state by daily committing to nourishing practices rather than depleting activities or unwholesome choices.

So here’s how we did it…

PURIFY:

  1. dietary changes that began weeks before the program by eliminating coffee, alcohol, processed foods, gluten, etc.
  2. a simple cleanse using herbal and fibre supplements combined with easy-to-digest warm vegetarian meals, ginger tea, and lemon water
  3. tongue scraping and oil pulling to remove toxins in the mouth
  4. a variety of daily Ayurvedic massages with warm oil designed specifically for each mind/body type to gently push toxins out of the tissues and into the GI tract for elimination
  5. saunas and steam rooms to sweat out the toxins
  6. daily yoga, meditation, journalling, sharing circles, self-study
  7. disconnecting from technology, news, negative energies, noise

REJUVENATE and MAINTAIN:

  1. getting into the sunshine, walking along the ocean, taking time to witness the beauty around us
  2. eating a “rainbow” – colourful lovingly prepared food with all six tastes (salty, sour, spicy, bitter, astringent, sweet)
  3. positive affirmations and planting seeds of wellness
  4. creating a soothing bedtime routine and getting a good night’s sleep
  5. trying something new and creative – getting out of your comfort zone and laughing!
  6. energy work such as pranic healing and Reiki
  7. self-love, treating yourself with respect and compassion
  8. being in the company of positive people; not those who invite drama, gossip, criticism or negativity into your life
  9. MEDITATE EVERY DAY!

So here I am now, 10 pounds lighter physically and 1 million times lighter emotionally. I feel so transformed! I am recharged and ready to get back at it after many insights about myself and the Universe I am part of. I have re-committed to a daily routine that SUPPORTS me rather than brings me down. And when stuff does get me down, I know I have an innate intelligence to guide me – I need not look further than my own self for the solution…and then I can let it go. Over and over again…through all the ups and downs. This is an ongoing process…one that lasts a lifetime, so I choose to make the rest of my lifetime one with purpose, connection, happiness, and ease.

 

Do the Yoga Hustle?

Recently I received an email offer from a popular yoga magazine advertising liability insurance and advice on advancing one’s yoga “career”. The ad suggested that “every yoga teacher has to hustle harder (and smarter) to make it”. Really?? This goes against so many cardinal rules of yoga – non-harming (ahimsa),¬†truthfulness (satya), non-greediness (aparigraha) just to name a few. The very term, “hustle” suggests forceful persuasion or an underhanded approach. Is this really how a yoga teacher would want to conduct business? Maybe some do…And when would a teacher know he or she has “made it”? Fame, fortune, jam-packed classes, a front-page spread in said popular yoga magazine? Sounds more like ego-serving than selfless service…

My own esteemed teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu, taught me to find my voice and to give from my heart. He encouraged me to share the teachings of yoga with grace, authenticity, and confidence, and he reminded me that those who want to listen and explore with me, will come. No gimmicks, no special offers, no goats or wine-tasting needed to attract attention. As a teacher of this tradition, my role is to GUIDE, not to entertain. To me, yoga is an ongoing practice of transformation and self-discovery that continues long after a one-hour yoga class.

As we wind down this year’s winter session of classes over the next few weeks, I am looking forward to then taking a short break beyond my backyard for my own well-being and personal development. My agenda at the Chopra Centre will be filled with yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and self-study…all in the sunshine and warmth of the California coast! I will be back in fine form, ready for our Spring session of classes!

With the right balance of effort and surrender, of ethical and smart business practices, and the ongoing flow of giving and receiving, it is possible to be both a teacher and a student in this evolving yoga world WITHOUT THE HUSTLE. I am truly grateful for all of you who continue to share this path with me!

Namaste…

 

 

 

 

Mountain Meltdown

It sure is hard holding stuff in, putting on a brave face, trying to be strong, denying instead of accepting…the energy it takes to conceal, ignore, suppress, and control can be exhausting. Sometimes you don’t even realize just how much emotional weight has accumulated. Maybe you can cover it up for awhile but at some point, often unexpectedly and maybe at an inopportune time, you have to crack. And crack I did right there on the Trans Canada Highway with the mountains drawing it out of me like¬†magnets. It was like they whispered, “It’s okay, let it rip and give all your heartache, anger, frustration, grief, worry, doubt, and fear to us because we will ground it…we will ground you…”. So I pulled off the highway along a road leading to a frozen lake, and trudged through the snow to face those majestic hunks of rock. I wasn’t looking for solutions, answers, or explanations. I just wanted to get out of my head and release whatever it was that was tightening around my heart and weighing me down.

All I had to do was let go of the energetic grip and open my heart. All I had to do was take a few long, deep, fresh breaths. All I had to do was say to the Universe, to God, to myself…”Okay, so be it…lead me from the darkness into the light” and then let the tension drain away. And when I said it, felt it, and believed it, then drain away it did, with those mountains there as non-judgmental witnesses gently yet firmly encouraging me to let it all go. I also wasn’t alone…all the souls of my loved ones, both here and gone, were there supporting me, too.

Ehagay Nakoda Range

I like to think that these mountains have magical powers of healing. Maybe that’s why I am so moved when I see them. For someone else, maybe the ocean would do it, or a forest, or a beautiful piece of music…whatever makes one step back in awe and helps put things in perspective is just the catalyst we sometimes need for transformation, growth, repair.

Feeling a million times lighter, I wiped my tears, thanked God, and carried on my way with a smile. I know I will need to do this over and over again, not necessarily in the mountains, but every time I step on my yoga mat or sit in meditation or walk out into my backyard…the key is to keep on letting go, keep on opening my heart, and keep on listening to those nudges from the Universe. I might need a helping hand once in awhile and I will reach out trusting that the right hand at the right time will fall into mine…

Your Summer Retreat

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Summer is here¬†with the anticipation of sunny days, spectacular sunsets, and hopefully some more down-time in your life. Where do you go to retreat from your busy routine? A cottage on a lake? A tent in the woods? A day at the spa? Or maybe your own backyard? One of my favourite places to retreat when I need a break is my own patio, where I can curl up in my comfy green chair overlooking the garden, and simply take a breath. And when I need even more space, into nature I go…

The definition of the verb “retreat” is to withdraw, to step back, to move away from something. And it’s in this moving away from something that we create space…space physically, mentally, and emotionally. In stepping back we can see from a broader angle and look at the thing we’re moving away from with a different perspective. Then we can make a conscious choice to proceed, whether that means walking away or turning right back around to face that “thing”.

Think of the many “things” that we might want to retreat from in our fast-paced lives:¬†time-consuming projects and tasks, challenging situations, difficult people, noise, clutter, family and work demands, negative thought patterns, health issues, financial concerns…Such circumstances, conditions, and states are the reality of modern life. Running away to escape might seem like a good option but we may then forever be running as life deals us a new “thing”. We might think,¬†“If I can just get past this ‘thing’, then everything will be okay”. But the Universe often has other plans for us and it turns out that the “thing” has something to teach us. Sometimes it’s just hard to learn the lesson…

Conscious awareness or MINDFULNESS¬†is a great way to BE with our stuff of life. It teaches us to be present with whatever is there in our bodies, minds, hearts or surrounding environment, whether unpleasant or pleasant. It requires that we slow down and take notice. It asks that we step back in the moment (retreat) and allow space for what is there in your own backyard. But sometimes it is helpful (and perhaps necessary) to move beyond your backyard into a totally different space in order to re-calibrate and re-balance your energy, away from the usual environment that holds all those stressors and challenges of daily life.¬†Whether that is in the form of an organized retreat or taking a day off work or just going for a walk in the forest out of the noise of the city, find some way to step back and make space regularly. It’s an important gift you can give to yourself…

Have a safe, happy summer…maybe I’ll see you on retreat!

ŗ•ź

 

What The Yoga Mat Said

And the yoga mat said, “Good morning, Daya. Come and sit for awhile…and tell me all about what’s going on in your body, your heart, and your mind…”

Yesterday when the mat called out, Daya said, “No I’m too busy”. And the day before that, she said, “No, I’m too tired”. And the day before that, she said “Okay I’ll come see you later…”, but she never did…because other things got in the way.

Today the mat beckoned again and she answered the gentle call. The mat said, “Just sit…and breathe…and take in the sounds and smells of nature around you. You can laugh on me, cry on me, stomp on me, sleep on me…You can BE any way you need to BE and I won’t judge. I will hold you up…and help you let go.¬†Please visit me every day, and I promise your life will transform.”

Daya spent a long time on her mat that morning, moving and breathing and feeling…she even cried a bit and the mat let her be. She almost fell over in¬†triangle pose and laughed…and the mat let her be. She snorted her way through¬†Kapalabhati¬†breathing and¬†let out a huge sneeze…and the mat let her be. She sat quietly on her cushion, and watched her mind jump all over the place until it slowly settled. And later as she lay down in¬†Savasana with the sunshine on her face and her faithful mat gently supporting her, she let go…

There on her mat, Daya expanded beyond her body, beyond her backyard, and into the blue sky above.

Tomorrow might be a whole different experience – it’s not always blissful on the mat. But Daya will be there…no matter what.

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