Last week my father had to be Medi-Vac’d to the hospital with a heart issue. I was in San Francisco at the time and fortunately was planning to travel later that day so was able to get to Vancouver easily to be with him and my mother. The first several hours after getting the news involved a flurry of texts and calls with family and the hospital relaying information, followed by traffic, long airport lines and a delayed flight.
What I observed that day and in the several days afterwards was that despite the stress and worry I was remarkably calm, present and centred. When my breath would get shallow, I noticed and could adjust. When my body was tightening and armouring, I intuitively knew how to move to find more flow without even thinking. My yoga practice was seamlessly showing up when I really needed it.
In class I often speak about how the practice on the mat is really about giving us the tools to handle what shows up in life. When we are in a pose that is especially challenging – we can be mindful with our breath, we can slow it down and be present with whatever sensations and emotions arise. We can remind ourselves that everything is welcome as part of the human experience. We can trust the intelligence of our bodies without having to do anything.
And while I have experienced this translation of practice from mat to life many times, last week it seemed to register in a more profound way. Presence is just a breath away. You can ground simply by feeling your feet connecting to the earth. You can experience more flow and ease in a difficult moment with some finger wiggling and wrist circles that no one will notice. You can trust that ultimately everything will be ok.
The wonderful news is that my father is recovering well and will be able to return home in the next couple of days.
Perhaps take a moment right now to sit back and feel into a time when your practice has served you in life. Allow yourself to have the full body experience of that remembrance. Have gratitude for your practice and your body’s capacity to receive it. Breathe into the knowing that this is a practice not just on the mat, but a practice of life. And that it really works.
love & pranams,