17 November 2009

The Sounds of Practice...

I took my first ashtanga class as a new resident of D.C. last week at Woodley Park and felt an immediate sense of stability and steadfastness. Photos of Guruji, smooth wood floors and the familiar sounds of practice filled me with warmth and welcome. After class, the instructor and I exchanged stories about teachers and experiences we had shared. It was an accustomed encounter, a feeling I had been acquainted with on so many occasions in the past.

Although it had been less than 2 weeks since I left the cozy, safe confines of my yoga studio in Jacksonville where I had practiced for over 3 years, I felt surprisingly distant and disconnected from my personal practice. My first six days in D.C. were fast paced, stressful and exhausting. There was no yoga, meditation, or mindful breathing. Moving to a new environment with different needs, expectations, and protocol is quite daunting. It was refreshing walking into an ashtanga yoga shala where the presence of tradition, continuity, and sequence rapidly extinguished the fear that accompanied my plunge into the abyss of change and transition. It reminded me that regardless of my place in the world, everything is always as it should be. As long as I embrace the gifts of my practice and continue to use them wisely…calling upon them at the moments I need them most, when I feel lost or displaced, there is nothing to fear.

What has been immensely profound is the overwhelming gratitude which has empowered me since the moment I set foot in D.C. If it wasn’t for the support of my family and my wonderful friends I wouldn’t have been able to embark on this journey.

In my short time here I have met so many amazing individuals…they have inspired me, embraced me and carried me through the birth of this ride…which has only just begun…and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

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