At least the weather has inspired me to write a blog post as I sit watching the very British rain fall.
As we approach the end of the year, the Winter solstice reflection sets in. On my mind is the past two weeks that have been definitely the most challenging and unpredictable for me this year but also the happiest and most joyul. I have been reminded of why I practice yoga; yes because it fully supports my life off the mat. I have been an observer on something very real to me and my family. Living directly with my father’s Alzheimer’s in these days has challenged and tested me. Helping my mother recover from a hip replacement has been equally hard as she is normally the one who pampers me when I arrive home exhausted and overdone at the end of year.
It may sound yoga clichéd but there has been a lot of learning to let go; every time I go home there is a part of my father that is less and less there and the grief and letting go wrench themselves out, sometimes it is subtle this time there was also the physical letting go of his beloved vintage car that he can no longer care for though it was my tears that flowed so readily, that was memories gone and the young, energetic dad who would whizz around in that beautiful car. There have been moments of frustration and sadness but there have also been moments of beauty, of laughter, of simplicity and wonder.
I have let go of the plans I had for the reading and study and practice I was going to do which as I write I find myself thinking, how self-centred I can be about this yoga thing. I have kept to my morning practice but I have settled into a day schedule that involves a lot of helping and action for others and this has humbled me. Yoga practice is not just what we do on the mat. Sometimes I really doubt yoga and why we do it (yes, I do), and then I find myself as I am now fully testing my own practice and what I teach at class and finding the work being reinforced, why? These weeks like no other I have operated on being fully present in every situation that arises, I have tried to open my heart with full compassion, myself to learning, and in all this the patience and respect that flows automatically, the list goes on. I am not presenting myself as some kind of hero and saint as I openly admit, it has not been easy but I have learnt so much from it. I have begun to fully realise how hard my mother’s role is as a full time solo care-giver and I send out a lot of love to all those who are in the same role.
Maybe this is yoga. This is life and this is yoga. Yoga is all around us, testing us, inviting us to open, to discover ourselves, to give, to receive, to break down self-limiting beliefs and then to drop in to acceptance and search for the beauty and there is beauty, find it, grab it and keep it in the heart.
This learning experience has been the most magic, challenging and relevant this year, deeply humbling and a reminder of the gratitude that I have for this body, this breath and the family I have around me.
To anyone reading this, I wish you a wonderful end of year 2016 and to a fully awakened rising into 2017.