Strong Centre

Life can be very difficult.  I don't believe that there was ever a life without sorrow and challenge; loss and grief; doubt and insecurity.  That there is joy too, and that joy provides the constant backdrop to the vicissitudes of a normal life, is our gift.  This abiding joy/love/peace is what we connect to, with practice, even through our deepest sadnesses.

I admit that I have had dark and doubting moments where I have wondered, what is the point of yoga?  What is the point of breathing deeply and moving up and down your mat and sitting very still, when life feels as though it is falling down around your ears and when the people that you thought would always be there are lost to you, or when the things you thought were certain suddenly seem very fragile and perilous, or when you have tried your best, but feel that you have failed, in spite of those best efforts.  Sometimes life feels as though it is slipping through your fingers; it seems to be rushing away from you as you desperately seek for something to hold on to, some rock to rest on.

Here is what yoga has given to me in my darkest moments, and what I hope it will give to you when you go through them. 

Yoga has given me the strength to feel my place on the earth and in the scheme of things; it has helped me to stay grounded and sure-footed, even as the ground has seemed to shift beneath my feet.  It has given me flexibility and the understanding that change is inevitable and that nobody can hold back the tides of life.  Yoga has helped me to ride the waves of life, as huge and frightening as they may have been, rather than have them drag me under.  Yoga has given me the capacity for perspective: to see my troubles set against the backdrop of beauty and joy that I see around me.  My life will come and go, but that beauty will remain.  Yoga has given me the growing gift of self-compassion and love and compassion for others, no matter how they might have hurt me or themselves.  Yoga has given me insight and clarity; I make mistakes, don't you?  I am human, aren't you?  I only seek to learn from those mistakes and to make my way through life with kindness, not judgement.

When you find yourself at a low ebb, don't forget your practice and how much you can depend on it.  Trust it to bring you strength, flexibility, self-understanding, compassion, resilience and perspective.  Know that you can drink from that deep well of peace and love that exists at the centre of yourself whenever you choose; that the only thing that stands between you and it, is your resistance to it.  Have faith in your practice and in yourself.

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Anton Chekov 


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