“At various points in our lives, or on a quest, and for reasons that often remain obscure, we are driven to make decisions which prove with hindsight to be loaded with meaning. (225)”
― Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

When everything else seems a little out of place, and I can’t quite let go, I send myself to yoga. My mind slows down, the tension melts out of my shoulders, and I am reminded as to all the reasons why I love this glorious form of therapy.

Tonight was no different. I had a fine day, nothing dramatically wrong, just feeling a little off lately. There are a lot of things running through my mind that have been winding my muscles far tighter than they are used to being. So I made the decision to leave my practice in someone else’s hands. Their thoughts could guide me through each asana so that I could simply melt into the silence of my mind. I could let go of everything that needed to be let go.

Each movement was like a breath of fresh air. Each vinyasa working me a little deeper into all the places my muscles store my feelings. Each moment, allowing me to get closer to the root of my recent discomfort. Not confronting it, but accepting its existence, and knowing that I will have to give all my thoughts their own time to present themselves. 

People think that yoga and meditation are about turning off the voice in your head and finding silence, but it’s not. We cannot truly find silence that way. We mustn’t force the mind into submission. Instead, we acknowledge the thoughts presence, and promise to hear it at a later time. Only then can the mind be satisfied to allow us freedom from all noise. 

After class I had the opportunity to stick around and enjoy the company and conversation of a few colleagues. This was wonderful. Just taking a moment to sit and drink tea. Talking about what’s been on my mind and hearing an outside opinion. Being able to do what I love best, and that’s be in and around the welcoming spirit of the yoga community. My heart fills when I have the chance to connect with someone on a level deeper than mere pleasantries. It helps that the crux of the conversation was anchored by the mutual understanding that change is hard, but living the dream is worth it.

So my day got lighter. My shoulders released ever so slightly towards their comfortable space. And the pensive tension within myself is beginning to subside. It’s almost as though I will make it through another day by finishing on a good and happy note. And really, is that not the goal of all our days?

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)”
― Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras