Life is full of opposites and it can make it confusing, at times, to know where we are meant to be.
Take a hatha yoga class as an example. We usually have some intention to shift or change something whether it is a tight muscle or a busy mind and yet we are asked to be at peace with what is in each moment.
When I am teaching my classes I ask the students to be present with who has arrived on the mat. Whether they are feeling tired, content, joyful or sad, can they find a loving acceptance of that person today? And, at the same time, we are aware of the fact that our practice changes us in some way. We can often desire a change because we don’t like what we are feeling.
So which is it? Are we there to fix something or are we there to accept?
Have you ever thought of all the opposites in this world:
*Effort vs ease
*Moving forward vs being in the moment
*Action vs non-action
*High vs low
*Life vs death
*Hot vs cold
*Wet vs dry
Health vs illness
*Sweet vs sour
*Up vs down
*Soft vs rough
*Fast vs slow
*Light vs dark
*Sun vs moon
That’s just to name a few…..
When we look at the above list it’s not to say that one is bad and the other is good. Life is about embracing these opposites. We can’t know soft if we don’t have something rough to compare. We can’t know happiness if we don’t also experience sadness. I believe that all of these opposites are here to help us embrace life to the fullest. They help us to get to know ourselves as well as the world around us.
How can I appreciate my yoga practice on the days when it flows with ease if I don’t also experience the days when I’m dragging myself there? How can I appreciate the light if I don’t also experience the dark? How can I appreciate life if I don’t also experience death?
I’ve been pondering this quite a bit lately. It’s certainly not a new concept by any means yet how often do we take the time to notice how it may be affecting our lives? As I am climbing slowly out of the muck on how this new year began I am appreciating, even more, a sense of things lightening up. I am appreciating the simplicity of each day. And for now, that is enough.
If you begin to reflect on what opposites may be showing up in your life, what are they teaching you? I’d love to hear from you!
Om shanti, shanti, shanti,