I have taken a few weeks off from writing this blog. It was something on the to-do list that just wasn’t getting done so I took it as a sign to step away. I have been sharing my inspiration with my classes but wasn’t finding the focus to sit and write them down. So I surrendered it for a while and now it has found its place again. In the spirit of Spring and celebrating the Earth on Earth Day, I found true inspiration last week in the element of Water.
Water is strong, powerful, unrelenting at times and it is soft and jovial and comforting at other times. Water is deliberate in its path but able to be flexible and alter course when necessary. Water is patient and a shape shifter; able to adapt to the hardness that lies in its path by going around it or through it and yet it Journeys on.
Water has a lot to teach us. It teaches us that there are times when we need to be strong and powerful and times when we need to be soft and flexible. It teaches us to be mindful of transitions; flexible to changes in the path, and it teaches us that whatever the conditions, that we can let go of the struggle and yield to the natural flow of life… we can Go With The Flow.
So on the mat this week we used our own vinyasa “flow” to connect to the attributes of Water. There were times when we were soft; warming up in Cat Cow stretches and moving freely to loosen up the hips and the spine. There were times when we were powerful; as we held Plank and Downward Dog for several breaths and moved from High Lunge into Warrior Three with the leg pulsing. There was the opportunity to push to our edge in Astavakrasana (pictured above) and shape shift as we flowed smoothly from half bound Parsvokonasana into half bound Trikonasana. We were patient and deliberate…Present, by using our breath and focusing on mindful transitions from one pose to the next. By doing that we were able to lessen the struggles, connect to the smoothness, the natural flow; as we moved through our asana practice.
Off the mat, we can also develop the practice of connecting to the attributes of Water that will serve us. Just as Water has the qualities of Power, Strength, Softness and Flexibility; So Do We. Considering we are made up of about 65% water, that is not so hard to believe but sometimes we do forget.
As we moved through our final back bending and spinal twisting and began to prepare for Savasana, I reminded the students to draw back to the intention we set at the beginning of class; to connect and remember all the attributes of Water that we have inside us. As they let go of the physical “flow” of the body in their final meditation, I asked them to imagine a calm, clear, still lake and to put themselves sitting beside that lake in a state of calmness, stillness and clarity; to channel those qualities that are already inside them and to bring them into their lives off the mat.
As I walked out of my classes last week after sharing my message, I felt my own “flow” begin to draw me back to my writing. Sometimes, just as Water does, We need to avoid or go around what is in our way. And then sometimes…We need to Jump Right Back In. Thank you Water for bringing me forward on my path this week. Namaste.