Life is funny. Last week, after writing this post, I learned from Hilary that her theme is for the month is Yoga Sutra 2.33, which says: When disturbed by negative thoughts, cultivate the opposite mental attitude (Vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam). No doubt, the universe is definitely trying to tell me something.
So, March is here and it’s still cold, and frankly, I’m not loving it. I’ve lived in the northeast for more than half of my life, and I still find it hard to believe how cold and snowy March can be!
In years past, I have managed to do a pretty good job of buckling down and dealing with it - - but not this year. For some reason I just cannot get over the fact that it is still cold and there is STILL snow in our forecast! I keep googling the groundhog and his prediction for spring - over and over and over.
Yesterday, we “sprang forward”. In ten short days, the spring equinox will arrive. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that I will still have to pull on my boots and put on my coat, and my hat and my mittens, because it will still be cold - for many weeks to come.
Friday, March first, I woke up and felt the burden of a seemingly never ending winter upon me. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to get dressed. I didn’t want to go outside. Basically, I threw a little hissy fit about it and did as little as possible for the entire day; I didn’t even go to my 10AM yoga class. Consequently, by the end of the day I was so down I couldn’t even get myself motivated to go out with my husband. Thankfully, he was very understanding, and we settled in to watch a mediocre movie on Netflix instead. When the movie was over, he reminded me of something I had allowed myself to forget. “Let today go. It’s over and done! But tomorrow, put your yoga clothes on as soon as you get up. That way, you will have no reason for not going. I bet after class I will get a text telling me how glad you are that you went.” As per usual, the professor was correct!
While I begrudgingly pulled on my yoga pants that Saturday morning, and cursed the light snow that had accumulated on my car overnight, the moment I walked into Jaya, and Renea greeted me in her ever joyous voice, I knew everything would be alright. And it was.
Erin started our class by reminding us that this was our time. We were there and for the next 75 mins everything else could wait. I closed my eyes and set my intention for centered peace. As I began to breathe, slow and deliberate, I felt unburdened. At the end of my practice, I was reminded of the prayer for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can.
I cannot change the weather. It is what it is. BUT, I can make an effort to change my attitude. This morning I read an article about an elderly person who said they spent many years hating winter and complaining. Then one day they realized most of their life was behind them, and they simply could not stand the thought of spending one more minute bitching about it. Right then and there, they decided to acknowledge their gratitude, each and every day, for another opportunity to rejoice in the gift of life - no matter what, even in the midst of the bleak mid-winter.
The practice of yoga has been a steadfast teacher. I am learning to accept so many of the things I cannot change - about myself, about this world, and about life in general. I am also learning to find the courage to make changes where I can. And if I get distracted and find myself off my mat more often than on it, I know yoga will still be there, welcoming me back with open arms and loving kindness.