"Look deeper through the telescope and do not be afraid when the stars collide towards the darkness, because sometimes the most beautiful begins in the chaos."
Yoga does not reject chaos.
Yoga does not judge chaos.
The breath navigates us through the chaos.
Always our breath. Always our choice.
Let's talk about resiliency.
Well, first let's talk about ego.
Earlier last week, I was hanging out with my pal Noah Mazé (okay not actually hanging out, but taking one of his online classes). The class had a strong focus on inversions. We had moved through variations of sirsasana (headstand) and pincha mayurasana (forearm balance) before beginning handstand work. I was pretty fatigued at this point but chose to move on, moving myself about unintelligently & focusing my attention on my pal Noah instead of my breath.
And this choice to chase instead of checking in resulted in a sharp pain in my right trapezius.
I opened my eyes in child's pose. Sitting up and back on my heels, my tongue tasted the flow of salty tears. The tears weren't from pain (and there would be a lot of pain), but from an immediate realization that my ego had taken over.
The ego, ahamkara in Sanskrit, isn't the problem, it's over-identification to it. The word ego has a Latin root, meaning 'I'. It is the conscious mind, as Freud put it. The conscious awareness of yourself and your reality.
In yoga philosophy, the act of over-identifying with the ego means getting tangled up in your own mind. It's keeping that mental checklist of poses to "accomplish".
It's the false notion that looking good equates to being good.
Thinking that the ego of attachment is authentic, we get caught up in this mess of desire and outcome.
‘Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction’ -Bhagavad Gita
My injury got me back to the basics. I am slowly working on my untangling by being a witness again to my practice; sitting (or gently moving) mindfully & observing without judgment.
Now for that bit of resiliency. This video made its way into my life a few hours after my injury.
Some days we just need a bit of inspiration, friends.
Or, if you're like me, you just need a proper sob as you ice your shoulder (& your ego).
You have rainbows in your heart.
Those were the words a former student of Philando Castile, the man shot five times by police during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota, used to described him. He worked as a cafeteria supervisor for over a decade.
I am a yoga teacher, but I am an educator first.
Relationships between students and staff are not random; they are rooted in trust and consistency. There is no undoing what has been done.
Adults may minimize, but children internalize.
I am so far from home, but my solidarity is strong. #blacklivesmatter