Saying Yes to the Full Spectrum of Life

I got up very early this morning, and it was so foggy that for a moment I yearned to take Grace to the river. I have never been kayaking in the fog. It was so thick and misty, and seemed to swirl around magically like it had a life of its own.

But instead, I had the joy, pleasure and honor of subbing for large yoga classes at the studio across the river where I study. I realized it had been a year since I had taught a couple of groups of nearly 30 students and it was wonderful to see that I had not lost the ability to move around a room and quickly scan for the major mis-alignments and suggest the necessary adjustments. There is an energy that comes from being in a large group that I love.

It was the first class of the session, so the teacher had asked me to work on some variation of "Opening to Grace." I chose to focus on opening to grace as saying yes to the full spectrum of life.

When we say yes to to life - we say yes to everything - the things we like - and the things we don't like in life. We say yes to the things we want - and the things we don't want as well - recognizing that everything is already perfect as it is because every person and everything is instrinsically good. This is fundamentally a Tantric perspective, which is the philosophical system that undergirds Anusara Yoga.

When we open to grace we are willing to be in the present moment. We choose to live our lives from that vantage point and we do not resist what is.

I believe that the core and essence of Anusara Yoga lies in this principle and perspective - for it implies a willingness to be open and to be vulnerable - thus opening the door to transformation. We cannot grow and we cannot heal - if we are not first willing to open. This is what makes our style of yoga so unique. No other style begins with this principle.

There are many ways in which we can open to grace. One way is to express gratitude for everything that happens in our lives - the things we enjoy and those we find more challenging.

How does opening to grace feel in our bodies?

There is a softening - a lengthening - there is a greater sense of spaciousness and instructors will use expressions such as "inner body bright" and "side body long" to convey this.

I invited the students to move and enjoy their bodies as they began this session by opening to grace and saying yes to the full spectrum of life!

After teaching these two classes, I came home to finish a Reiki workshop with four wonderful women. It was also a joy and pleasure to spend two days with them engaging in Reiki as a spiritual practice.

As I cleaned up after they left, I noticed the saying on the Yogi Tea bag that one of them was drinking. It read:

"Open to Infinity - and you become infinity."

And I thought to myself:

"Open to grace - and you become grace!"


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