My practice right now is to see this face on everything that challenges me, and watch it turn into love. After all, it's all yoga.
I had major eyebrow gratitude this morning during my yoga practice. The room was packed full of people, mat to mat, all sweating through their Mysore practice. It’s beautiful and inspiring when this happens; the breathing in the room begins to sound like ocean waves. I close my eyes to imagine standing next to the ocean only to have my fantasy interrupted by… rain?!
I saw drips slinking down the walls and hanging from the ceiling. It was condensation and…sweat. It drives me nuts when a few stray drips make their way into my eyes seriously challenging my practice of drishti. My focus turns to all the potential eye drops waiting in my hairline and on my forehead. But then it happens. I notice my eyebrows working overtime and I was overwhelmed with… eyebrow gratitude?!
“You guys are saving me from so much stinging. Look at the way you guide those drops to the side so effortlessly. Brilliant you are. Just brilliant.”
I went on like this in my head for awhile - and I felt great while it was happening amidst gruelling poses. But in all honesty, it wasn’t my eyebrows that were making me feel great. It was a spontaneous practice of gratitude.
This past week there was a death in my family. My Grandfather, at the age of 98, passed in his sleep. I’m grateful for so many reasons: 98 was a beautiful, long life. 98 made it easier to understand that death was near. And 98 years gave us ample time together - which made his passing hard. No matter the age, it’s hard to loose someone you love.
While Gramps passing was much easier than my own Father’s, it did kick up memories of sadness from that time…and fear. Deep seated fear for my own inevitable passing.
The great sages refer to every aspect of life as practice; practice for the peak of life. Cue the reason I get on my yoga mat.
My mat is a mirror to my life. It’s a reflection of how I react to everything, including challenges. Through practice, I’ve learned my first reaction to stress is fear and through practice, I’ve given myself tools to deal with this fear - all in preparation for the greatest moment of life, the pinnacle of it, the greatest ecstacy:
“One who has become capable of witnessing life has become capable of witnessing death because death is not the end of life; it is the very culmination of it. It is the very pinnacle of it. Life comes to its peak in death. Because you are afraid, you miss. Otherwise, death is the greatest ecstasy, the greatest orgasm there is.” Osho
Donna & Serah from The Seduction of Yoga practice together. Beats by Pearce Cacalda. Singing by Serah. Filmed at Track Fitness, Toronto.