Over Christmas I took a break from my daily structured on the mat yoga practice – you never take a break from practising yoga in daily life – and coming back to my mat this morning, it was helpful to feel into breath and body. I noticed my heart rate was slightly high; my body slightly stiff, my jaw clenched.
At the end of my practice I sat for a few minutes sipping my coffee (all right, my second coffee), and I took stock a little of where we are.
As some of you will know, I enjoy hiking and cycling. When you are slogging up a steep hill, its useful to look to the horizon rather than the foreground; to see the longer perspective rather than the shorter problem. And then as you come toward the top of the hill, although there is still a climb to go, you get to the place where your eyes – if not your feet – are over the summit, and the glorious vista opens up. Yet still, at the business end, you have to pedal or walk that last distance.
It occurred to me thats in no small way an analogy of where we are now. The next couple of months will be grim, thats for sure. Headlines will be worrying; we will all be on edge, perhaps overstimulated as we await the next announcement or report, or maybe await our vaccination call. And the equally grim winter weather won’t help, with short cold days. Yet if we look to the horizon, April, May, late Spring, early Summer, things will change – the sun will be out, vaccines will have been delivered, the routines of our lives will restart.
Meanwhile, lets practice Yoga at a distance, maintain our Sangha virtually, take good care of ourselves, and look ahead to the emergence that will surely come. To wish it nearer will but cause stress; every day brings us closer. Live in the present, notice our heart rate, notice our breath, notice the tensions we carry and do our best to let them go.
But most of all be kind to one another, and to ourselves.