The First (Daunting) Post

I'm been putting off the writing of this first post for quite some time now. Not really knowing how to start this new venture -- writing about myself and yoga for anyone to see and read. I thoroughly enjoy the process and experience of sharing yoga, but it is quite different talk about yoga, life, and this path when looking into a room with familiar friendly faces. Sitting here, I see a blank screen and I wonder what to say...

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana Extended Hand to Big Toe

photo: Margo Jones Duvall

I suppose I'll start by saying I'm both excited and intimidated about sharing in this format. I hope to open up my thoughts on practice and life, but I am uncertain what that will look like or where it will lead. I love seeing new projects take their first few steps. They are often a bit off-balance and a little wobbly (kind of like a kid learning to walk), but the stride changes and evolves over time. Sometimes even changing direction in big, unexpected ways.

If you are reading this now, I welcome you to the first few steps as I stumble along.

Yesterday a friend shared some notes from her last workshop with Tias Little in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One quote (she starred and highlighted) really stood out to me:

If you cannot accommodate imbalance, are you really in balance?
— Tias Little

I found myself considering what this might mean. The last few weeks have really challenged my sense of life balance. Transitions with the staff at the teahouse (where I am the manager) came unexpectedly and all at once in the middle of the holidays. At the same time I had committed to a big teaching weekend that had me pretty nervous. An already full schedule zapped my energy reserves when my anxiety about these changes appeared and I found myself unwell (with a cold). 

I realize now it became my opportunity to "accommodate imbalance" as Tias said. I practiced setting realistic expectations for myself (did I mention that I tend to expect a lot of myself? We'll save that for another blog, perhaps). I prepared simple, nourishing foods, drank lots of water, sipped warm herbal blends, and added in a few powerful herbs and medicinal mushrooms. I sat in meditation every morning (even though it wasn't easy and I found it difficult to relax into the moment.)

To "accommodate imbalance" I surrendered to feeling unwell and took time to rest. I was able to take a few days off of teaching my regular classes (thanks to the grace of a few last-minute subs who stepped in so that I could rest). I made shifts and adjustments to my daily schedule to accommodate my current needs. I accepted that I was feeling unwell and still had a lot to do. I taught new material to a new group. And I did my absolute best. It was enough. Not perfect, but not too much nor too little. I learned.

Looking back on the last few weeks, I can breathe much easier now. I am feeling well again, and it feels like these changes are opening up some really exciting possibilities. The transitions are still in process, but the anxiety has melted away and I feel the balance shifting once again.

I am happy to sit here tonight and reflect. On balance. On life. On practice. On learning. On teaching. On acceptance. On what is. I know I don't have the answers, and that this balance will continue to shift and change forms. But I am ready to practice "being with" those changes whatever they may bring.

I invite you to join me in this forever changing journey.

Two Hands Together.