Trust Your Flow

Sweaty shoulders and a dusky room. The day after Christmas has been quiet, and its stillness melts into the evening.

My fingers spread wide on the mat, palms pressing down. I close my eyes. My spine lengthens and with each breath something opens and something softens. Something melts away.

There are a few things in this world that make me feel connected, that help me understand, that lead me home. Yoga - and especially hot yoga - is one of those things.

The warmth of the room loosens me and I can breathe easier. For the first time today, I notice the air coming in and out of my lungs. It’s an easy cycle, going down into my belly and filling it like a comforting meal.

As the flow picks up, my arms and legs get slicker. A few beads of sweat drip into my eyes and I blink them quickly away. Breath is heavier, faster, still deep.

It’s usually at this point in class where I slip out of presence.

What’s next? How much longer?

Tonight’s plans. A whimsical day dream. A hurtful memory. An anxiety-inducing “what-if.”

And it’s usually at this point where a word comes. Sometimes a few, but usually just one. It floats before my eyes, and then syncs with my breath. It intertwines with my movements and settles in my chest.

Tonight, the word is trust. I don’t expect it, but I understand why it came. It’s not the first time it has appeared.

If you know yourself, love yourself, and stay aligned to what feels right, you can trust that life will take you where you’re meant to go.

As we collectively lay in savasana, digesting our practice, learning to be with ourselves, our teacher reads us a passage from the Upanishads:

“You are what your deepest desire is.

As your desire is, so is your intention.

As your intention is, so is your will.

As your will is, so is your deed.

As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

“Know yourself,” she says. “And trust your flow.”


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Winter Solstice

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Hello darkness.

I’ve finally learned to embrace you, and even enjoy you.

Today is the Winter Solstice, which means the earth’s axis is tilted the farthest from the sun. Which means it’s the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

There’s a full moon tonight, and a meteor shower—I would kill to be able to see the sky tonight, though with all the rain and clouds in Atlanta, I don’t have high hopes.

Darkness used to scare me. I always sought the light, both symbolically and literally. I gravitate naturally toward joy and levity and humor and good vibes. I love sunshine and warmth and wouldn’t mind living somewhere where summer lasted all year.

But 2016 forced me to face darkness, and to learn to sit with it without succumbing. It taught me that darkness makes light all the more beautiful. It taught me that darkness is an opportunity for reflection, release, and rebirth.

So during this Solstice, consider:

What do you want more of? What do you want to let go of? Who do you want to be, and what do you want your life to look like?

Use this beautiful darkness to figure it out. Light a candle. Sit with yourself. Take some deep breaths. Maybe write in your journal, make a collage, or draw a picture. Go on a walk. Drink tea.

And if the darkness gets to be too much, just remember the moon is there, offering us all the light we need right now.

“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” ― Rumi