the slush is melting, and yoga is being made

The slush is melting. A reminder of the snow that brought such mixed feelings to so many people, from exaltation to revulsion to dread. For me, being the Gemini that I am, each moment held a different feeling. I had moments of absolute giddiness, joy and hope and others when I wanted to hide in a corner sucking on a bottle of wine or run like a lunatic screaming profanity….But regardless of what was happening outside (with the weather) or inside (with my emotions), I bundled up and ventured out to be in it. I wanted to experience the snow and ice and slush- to breathe in the elements and be in the land of the living.

In my snow adventures I was often surrounded by people- a mixture of people of all ages romping and playing as people often do when it snows in Seattle (which is rare). I walked in areas of my neighborhood that I rarely visit, and I smiled at people I most likely ignore on any other given day. This is what snow does for me- it helps to bring the introvert out so that I can look people in the eyes and begin a brief dialogue. It also…brings out the worst in me. The angry me who gets frustrated by people who refuse to give space for me to walk past them on the sidewalk and the me who frets about the homeless, the flooding, and the power outages. I obsess. I ruminate. I “kvetch”. And there’s no rhyme or reason. I’m downright unpredictable and crazed.

Metaphorically, the storm and my ensuing moods related to change in my life are like my experience of cancer. I had moments of insight and recognition of luminous beauty mixed with times when I wanted to scratch incessantly at an itch that never existed. And this is where my yoga practice so beautifully comes in. I can once again feel pain without having to own it as something that will never go away. I can be in the experience of joy or pain or itchiness and trust that this is just this moment. My truth does not have to be dictated by this discomfort or this elation. And when I freak out, I can look at that as another opportunity to learn. Which seems never ending…

Lately, I delight in thinking about Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.1 (that’s right- the very first sutra)- Atha Yogānuśāsanam, or something like “now begins the exposition of yoga”. Even in the slush, yoga is being made.