Connecting with Disconnect


I feel disconnected from yoga right now.  One week in New York City, full of social obligations—aka: drinking and eating and then back in Montreal for three days before a sudden and unexpected house guest arrived, which meant more eating and drinking and there just hasn’t been a lot of time for yoga these days.

And it makes me wonder about this thing called balance.  Is balance supposed to be something one strives for on a daily basis?  Yearly basis?  Life-ly basis?  Do things find equilibrium over time, with periods of want and periods of plenty finding homeostasis at some point or another?

I still step onto my mat each day, for I am learning a new sequence right now that I need to practice, but there is a lack of curiosity.  A lack of joy.  I connect to my body and to my breath and inevitably I feel better afterwards, but what is it that’s missing?  Inherently, it makes me question my abilities as a teacher, because if I can’t connect to the practice, how can I possibly teach others to do the same?

But then the other day, something happened.  A date that I had been planning for, preparing for; a date that is not romantic in nature, but is nevertheless as dreamy as Ryan Gosling knocking on my door, winning the lottery, and creating world peace all condensed into one long end of a brittle wishbone was postponed, indefinitely.  And this date is related to a very big goal that I have been working towards for a long time now (more on that later) so naturally, I was crestfallen.

And instantly I realized that practicing yoga is not about how many times per week or day you perform asana.  It is not about what juice cleanse you’re on or whether or not you drank a bottle of wine last night; it’s not about what bendy shapes you can transform your body into, or how many hours you sit in meditation.  Practice is about plugging into your life in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

We practice asana because as we physically manipulate our bodies towards specific shapes, we start to see what obstacles we must face before we get there.  The process, which can take weeks, months or even years teaches us patience and diligence.  It teaches us to be humble and to learn when to back off, or otherwise face torn muscles and injury.

A teacher of mine said once, “Everything you do on your mat is a metaphor for your life.”

But what I failed to remember, is that the converse is also true.  Life can teach me about asana.  That when I find the ability to take every “shape” life throws at me and move into it to the best of my ability, this is practicing yoga.

And so as I wrestle with feelings of disappointment and notions of anticipation and expectation, I am grateful.  For the opportunity to connect to practice in a way that makes so much more sense to me right now than 100 chaturangas.

Once again, I am humbled by the journey and I am grateful,
because I am still learning.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JJma
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 12:01:00

    Another great piece of writing. Yep, we are so lucky to have been given this practice of yoga to help us live a balanced life. I hope whatever your date with destiny that was for some reason postponed, evolves into something even more wonderful than the last expectation. There seems to always be a reason for shifts. I once had a teacher say, “We get what we need in order to evolve! ” Happy evolving and thanks for your writing.


  2. lybsta
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 12:26:37

    Really lovely. I think one of the great beauties of yoga is there’s always another layer to uncover and consider, a layer which teaches us more about ourselves and the world. Sat Nam!


    Dec 11, 2012 @ 04:12:23

    love your words Jen, and miss your beautiful face!!!


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