About seven years ago I started practicing yoga in earnest. I was in my early middle age but felt stiff and at the time, off balance. Suffering brought me to my mat.
All these years later, now in my deep middle age, my body is a little more achy, but not surprisingly, I’m a little less stiff. I still suffer, but my practice has helped me approach suffering with greater equanimity and a little more skillful balance.
This morning as I got to Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, I wobbled a little and looked to the green in my yard. In the corner is Kuan Yin, eyes downturned, holding a little bucket of water, a reminder of calm and healing. I inhaled gratitude and exhaled relief.
I’m grateful that we each can find our path. That practice is not the same for everyone, but you know you are on your particular practice mat when you find that your suffering and those of the people around you is less in your presence.
For me practice is a reminder to patiently and gently keep exploring the edges of what’s possible, to respect the boundaries of what’s painful, and to keep coming back, especially when feeling particularly impossible, pressed in, and off balance.
This last sentence means that I come back everyday.