Yoga isn't everything. Not as we might know it anyway. The movement and breath? Delightful. The time on the mat? So precious. The calming music and flickering candles? Oh I love them so. But they are just part of it. They are just our reminder. The word yoga means union. So we practice this - as we practice anything we wish to come more naturally to us. Traditionally, the asana - the postures - are practiced in preparation for meditation. We practice union of movement and breath, union of body and mind. We meet the challenge to greet the reminder of presence. I'm not referring to the challenge of the postures, either - I'm referring to the millions of reasons we can cite for not stepping onto the mat. I have a little black book of them. I am master procrastinator. Honestly, I'll challenge you to be better at putting things off.
Challenge presented, I concede that whether five minutes or ninety five - I can't think of a single time I've regretted getting on the mat. Not because I've ticked something off the list, but because that reminder stays with me like a song on the radio or a ring on my finger. A note, a token, a breath - and I'm back. Some days I need to hear it, see it, feel it more than others. But I know that at any moment, I can press play.
I love this reminder because it gets us through the tough stuff. But I think the real gold is how it allows us to soak up goodness.
There are no classes on the schedule for 11 and 18 July, and the reason is because I love music, and I love love.
One of the most joyous connections for me outside the physical practice of yoga, is music. I love singing it, I love making it, and my oh my do I love hearing it.
Going to concerts makes me feel all the emotions at once, fully immersed in expressions of everything that life has to throw at and offer us. It's an easy but potent mistake to call an experience like that an escape. But that, my friends - like our yoga practice - is connection. So I'm headed to Melbourne to see some live music, ignite my spirit, and connect with some of my soul sisters. Sounds a little woo woo, but couldn't be more true (true).
The love part? I'm glad you asked. That's a wedding. My dear friend is marrying her love and I just love LOVE! And I love that people gather purely to celebrate the love of two people. And I love that even the ones who don't like the spotlight still tell their person they love them and want to love them forever in front of all the people that love them. And I love that strangers bond over the love of the couple and the love of love, handing tissues to their neighbours like proud parents. Seriously, how great is love?
Point is, these are my reasons for setting the reminder. Like when we step on the mat; when we land in the places and with the people that bring us the most joy, we have a chance to truly arrive. That's yoga: Union. Breath and body. Body and mind. Soul and music. Love and love. As Ganga White said: "yoga doesn't take time, it gives time". Whatever your yoga is today, be there. It's all connection, if we let it be so.
And friends? If it's the tough stuff you need the deep breaths for? Use them. Amongst all of this joy, there is some seriously challenging stuff the world is throwing right now. And I feel so very grateful for where I am and who I have to support me, near and far - in time and space. Lately some of our closest can feel the furthest away. So if you're having a rough time, please know you are not alone. We can bang on about reaching out, and we need to - that needs to be normal. But so does reaching in - sitting with each other, sharing the challenge, the grief, and gosh darn it, the fight for better.
If you need someone to talk to, there is your conversation starter. Truly. Message or call - a friend, or someone who is waiting for you to pick up the phone.
Lifeline is what it says it is. They exist to support people in crisis and save the lives of those experiencing thoughts of suicide: 13 11 14. Beyond Blue is also here to support you through anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide: 1300 22 4636.