I learn by going where I have to go. – Theodore Roethke
I think it’s safe to say that if you are reading a blog on YogaCity NYC you might know or want to know that yoga is more about the journey than the destination—that’s why many of us do it, right?
But as your practice deepens you become more aware of subtle changes not just in your body but in your mind. And maybe that place is not where you’d like to be. But there you are.
So that’s what happened to me recently. Life was humming along both on the mat and off. My teaching and practicing are deeply gratifying on many days, but…
I was… I am. Stuck.
It started with an acknowledgment of my strange fear of jumping back from crow. I haven’t been able to account for it. I take other risks and challenges on the mat, but something about jumping back has me confounded. I’ve been exploring the various options and techniques, and something is beginning to take hold slowly, but it’s a process for me, not one I can literally jump into.
Simultaneously, I noticed patterns in my personal life that if looked at metaphorically, would benefit from a strong jump back. By that I mean a faith in landing on my feet without looking directly where I’m going. Having the confidence in my core strength and coordination that my feet won’t buckle. That I won’t trip myself up.
Committing to the journey of the jump.
I wish I could say I was practicing the transition every day.
But that’s not the way I do things. I’m a writer and poet, so things have to percolate and manifest for me in different ways, like the way a jigsaw puzzle often comes together in different sections, before they coalesce in poem or in an asana practice.
And I’ve realized that that’s OK.
The other day one leg went back and the other kind of dangled along behind.
And today I smoothed out a piece of the personal fabric.
I don’t know where it’s all going. I just know that depending on rocking crow or side crow or fill- in-the-blank arm balance is not going to cut it for me anymore.
I need to throw the balance off and see what happens…to learn by going where I have to go.
My guess? To deepen my companionship with myself before seeking it in others.
Kathleen Kraft is a poet and yoga teacher living in Jersey City. Her book of poems Fairview Road is due out this winter from Finishing Line Press.
Actually, we never know what’s next; we just think we do. You’ve struck on a circumstance where the reality is in focus for you. Congratulations on facing an essential life conundrum. Wishing you much courageous curiosity moment by moment.