I was lost in the throes of this gray, cold Chicago winter, thinking it will never be over, I would always be cold… but then all of a sudden it is mid-March! Time to jump back into my next training module of all things yoga, soul, and meditation. After day one, I am already craving more!
I want to bring words such as LOVE, GRATITUDE, JOY, VULNERABILITY, SHAME, SPIRIT and WHOLEHEARTED in yoga and in society. These are all words that exist in every person’s human experience and in every spirituality. Feeling love, joy, vulnerability and shame is part of every human experience. I sometimes feel silly to use these words when I teach. I feel like maybe I am the only one who has felt something this profound in my body on my sticky mat. To me, I do not think yoga is just another fitness class. Because I believe the body, mind and soul are inextricably linked, by moving the body, we are also moving the soul.
Somedays, I think I might sound like a sham to my students when I use these words. However, I know deep down this is not true. There are too many yoga classes, too many yoga teachers, too many students flocking to yoga in all kinds of settings throughout our society for this feeling to be unwarranted. I think people are signing up for yoga to touch their toes, but many are staying for the access to the soul. Some of my favorite “master” teachers are now no longer doing vigorous asana. They are instead speaking to the power of meditation, of slowing down, of really, truly listening. I am still young, and I love to move. I feel this pressure that I should be able to do more advanced asana because I am young, fit and a dedicated instructor. But truthfully I still cannot do all the fancy instagram poses. Honestly, I can do some but I do not know if I even want to do them all. Or if I will ever be able to do them all.
This year, through a series injuries and health issues I was forced to slow down. It was frustrating when I finally faced the truth. It is hard to rest when our western society glorifies exhausting physicality. Even the yoga society! There are so many HOT and POWER and SCULPT classes. Being told to “feel the burn” or “push to the edge” when really I just want to feel my breath, my body, and my SOUL. Now, don’t get me wrong I love to sweat, workout and run! I have begun to discover there needs to be more balance in yoga and in life. More “union” between breath, body and soul. More equilibrium between work, rest and play. I questioned myself many times: why I am not doing handstands and instead laying on a bolster? Why can’t I do that fancy arm balance on the beach I saw on Instagram? Why can’t I do the splits like I used to? It has been both humbling and profound. It is a new kind of awareness, outlook on life. Full of those words I listed earlier but also beauty, patience and grace. It has not been easy. I have a quote that has been guiding my soul over the past few months by my new favorite writer, Brené Brown “ Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our light.” The body, our busy mind is the darkness. The consciousness, our soul is the light. Yoga can help give us the tools and courage to step into the darkness (and I think many things can: religion, prayer, nature, art, ect) but if we don’t take that first step we may never find the light.
I wanted to share a poem I have been working on over these long, dark winter months. It is about the moon, another beautiful light in the darkness.
Did you see the moon last night?
Did she see you?
All her glory, grace rounded by darkness.
Magnificent. Marvelous. Patient.
Watching as we run around and
away from our shadows. Anxiety like stardust.
Emanating from nowhere and everywhere.
Past. Present. Future.
Her wisdom eternally shines down on us
but it been lost in the hustle, the artificial lights and arrhythmic living.
This city pulses. Night after night. Day after day.
Out of tune to the wider song, the deeper harmony, the earthly beat.
Quiet! She sees you.
More classes on the schedule and a new studio all coming next week! Updates on IG and FB soon. Also, I am sure this module will produce more words. It is still cold outside, but spring is coming soon…. Until next time ❤
Love & Light,
Kristin (and Luna