The Yoga of Waiting

It has been nearly a week since I made an entry here. In this time, I have been engaged very quietly in the yoga of waiting...

Yoga is a practice, and thus, the yoga of waiting is simply, the practice of waiting...

The practice of waiting invites us and draws us more deeply into the present moment. At such times, we are able to notice things that might have escaped our attention or awareness at other moments in our lives.

As often happens, a lot of what I read or contemplate is precisely what I need to reflect upon.

In these last couple of weeks before undergoing surgery, I am taking time to slow down, prepare, and simply be. I've slept in a bit here and there, taken an occasional nap, gone for long walks, and I do whatever little yoga I can do at the moment, and focus on enjoying the simple things: doing a dog pose with as much devotion as I can, instead of a long held inversion or a really deep backbend... Going for a walk - rather than a two hour practice... Reading the newspaper slowly... Enjoying a cup of coffee by myself, or with a friend... Weeding my landscaping with care... Savoring a good glass of wine...

Who knows how long we have to live? I would like to arrive at the end of mine without regrets - living each day fully and completely. I read yesterday, how most people regret they didn't really do what they wanted to do because of fear or expectations. Others, regretted not spending more time with friends and loved ones...

As I wait for a day that I hope will eventually mark a physical turning point for me, I also realize there are no guarantees in life. Things may be remarkably better. But then, they may not...

In this past year, one friend gave birth to her stillborn daughter. Another lost a battle with cancer. Still another took her own life. And countless others suffered many losses of some kind or another...

Yoga, meditation, and all our spiritual practices - remind us of what is ultimately important. These practices urge us to become the best possible people that we can be: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And, they enable us to carry whatever burdens we must shoulder.

And so, I wait. I prepare. And I accept - that I cannot do things I once did. While so many believe great things are in store for me, I also know, that everything comes and goes, like the ebb and flow of the tides...

I thought of this yesterday, which was "International Handstand Day." I watched so many of my friends post poses of themselves on Facebook - some doing one handed variations I had never seen. Handstand is a pose I've loved, but I struggled with it yesterday. It was humbling, but it reminded me to be more compassionate with myself, as I try to be with my students when they struggle with it as well.

And so, I end now by sharing some quotes I read this past week, which brought solace and elicited deep reflection...

"One should always avoid suggesting to the mind thoughts of human limitations such as sickness, old age, and death. Rather, the mind should be told this truth: 'I am the Infinite, which has become the body." Yogananda

"You have a UNIQUE relationship with your body because unlike other relationships that you can just walk away from when the going gets rough - your body goes WITH you EVERYWHERE in this lifetime. The time is NOW to make peace and love your body right where you ARE in this very moment!" Gena Livings

"Great Spirit, I pray for the strength to accept the role I have chosen in this lifetime and to allow others to do what they have chosen to do, or what is karmically appropriate for them. When I pray for my own healing or that of another, let me pray only that the highest good be done, whatever that may be. Let me strive to have no expectations of what healing is in any situation but only to hold the one being prayed for in the highest love and esteem, in the knowledge that they are One with you." Joan Borysenko

And so, it is...

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