Posted in:Light, Love-Liv, Namaste, Reflect, savasana, Yoga

Finding Light in Yoga When Times Are Dark

When times are dark, both personally and societally, we have to fight for the light. The path of least resistance leads to despair. Instead, you have to take the path of most resistance. You have to double down on the things that lighten the load.

We can’t just fall down and wallow in our misery. Ok, maybe a little, but it’s not a long-term solution. Pretty soon we have to get back on our feet. In order to stay vertical, we have to do the things that connect us to our bodies, to our spirits, and to each other. We have to find ways to spark joy and to tend that little flame.

In yoga, that could be the routine of making it to your mat every day, the humour of wobbling through a trickly balance, the triumph of doing a challenging posture, or the community of the collective inhale before an om.

The Dark Side

To talk about light, we also have to look a little bit at darkness. The two are forever intertwined: day goes with night, yin with yang, heads with tails, half full with half empty. Part of the human condition is to figure out how to handle these opposing forces so that we’re not overwhelmed by either. Our challenge is to find balance so that even if the pendulum begins to swing wildly, it still comes back to the centre eventually. So what do we do when there’s a gale-force wind blowing that poor little pendulum deep into the blackest hole?

Light in Yoga

Light in Yoga

Yoga and meditation help sustain the light by giving your busy, busy mind a rest from spinning out its doomsday scenario. It’s not checking out or burying your head in the sand to make time for yourself to take a break from yourself. You can’t exist in a constant state of outrage without soon yielding to despair, making you a less useful member of the resistance.

A vigorous, sweaty yoga practice acts as a much-needed release of the tension you may not even realise your body is carrying. A slower-paced stretching session relieves your muscles of the burden of stress. If you practice with others, you’ll be reminded that not everyone in the world has gone bat-shit crazy. If you practice alone, you’ll get a respite from dealing with other people at all. Whether it’s fast, slow, in class, or at home, practice, practice, practice, get those endorphins firing, and arise from Savasana feeling lighter in body and mind, prepared to gird your loins to continue to be the voice of reason in an unreasonable time.

Out of the swamp a lotus blooms

Light and Love

As yogis, we use the word namaste a lot. We chant it at the end of class, we wear it on our t-shirts, we salute or sign off with it in our emails. The word is flexible enough to fit these myriad uses. One of the most common translations is “the light in me honours the light in you,” or, in social media speak, I see you. I recognise a fellow spirit, I acknowledge your humanity. I celebrate you and feel your reciprocation. In dark times, this little word is a reminder that there is light in me and light in you. There’s power in that connection. It gives us the strength to rise up, individually and collectively, so that we can shine another day. Out of the swamp, the lotus blooms.

 

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