Use the Darkness to see the Stars

 

Last week I had a difficult couple of days. Sometimes in our quest to grow and be better we occasionally falter, we make mistakes, we don’t see. Then when we come out of the blindness things can look pretty dark. I needed to remind myself that none of us is perfect and our journey is all about the practice; the practice of self-awareness, self growth and of making the right choice in the current moment. From there I also needed to remember that even though everyday may not be a good day, that there is good in every day. We get to make a choice to look at the darkness or see the stars. “A certain darkness is needed to see the stars”– Osho . All of this weaved together to become my theme for classes this week.

As we began on our mats I asked my students to choose to look at the stars instead of the darkness, to let go of what is not working on the mat and look at the bright moments instead. After we warmed up with Sun Salutes and some opening twisting sequences, we built to a difficult tripod head stand series (pictured above) which targeted the obliques and hip flexors. Not being able to do all the poses can offer us perspective. Perhaps it allows us to appreciate what we can do and remind us that those “stars” in our practice are not always what we think they are. Sometimes we miss the brightest, clearest stars because our mind is full of clouds (judgement). When we step out from that blindness, then those stars shine through,

Off the mat it is the same. Things do not always work out. Good intentions do not always deliver and mistakes or bad choices sometimes occur if we are not mindful and don’t see clearly. Just like on the mat, it is about the practice, not about being perfect. It is about making a choice… Do we wallow in judgement of ourselves or do we learn, grow and focus on doing better in the present? Do we dwell in the darkness or do we look for the stars? Once we realize that the darkness helps us more clearly see the stars it can be a gift, an opportunity to see those stars much more brightly.

Returning to the mat we came on to our backs and used the Supta Padangustasana series (reclined hand to big toe pose) to stretch more deeply through the legs. As my students brought their leg across for spinal twist I asked them to stop at the point where they felt resistance in the leg; to stay in the difficult place and breath through it…to look for the stars in the darkness.

As we sat together in final meditation I again reminded my students that this is all a practice. When we practice being good and seeing the good it is then that we realize our path. Practice is the path and on that path there will be darkness and there will be beautiful stars. The choice to see those stars is ours. Namaste.