Around the holidays I become disjointed. My brain is over-stimulated and emotionally I become unmoored. The combination leaves me in a state of "half-way-in," a life space that is not quite satisfying. I'm getting through; I'm not depressed or upset or despondent, but I'm not all in. The joy and whimsy of the holidays eludes me when I'm living "half-way-in." I would love to find a way through, and ultimately a permanent way out of this holiday state.
Yoga is a practice of finding a joining, a balance, a quiet conversation between the mental/emotional and the physical. It is in my Yoga practice that I am "all in," all the time. It's been twenty-two years since I started practicing Yoga and my greatest accomplishment in my practice is absolutely not physical flexibility. My true victory from Yoga is that there is a guaranteed place where I can be "all in." I am eternally grateful to have this space, to understand what this fullness and connection means, how it feels.
Yesterday, on Christmas Day, I taught one class. I was happy to do it, thrilled to be there. Even though I wasn't practicing myself, I would be in that familiar, happy space of being really present as a teacher with the amazing students. There were about twenty Christmas Yoga Warriors in the class and, as is often the case on holiday classes, they were a focused, hardworking bunch.
At one point as I was guiding them into Savasana, I said, "tap your heels together and let your feet fall open." As I said it, I had the image of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, tapping her heels together reciting the epic line, "There's no place like home" over and over, until she finally arrived back in Kansas.
For me, and I know for many others, Savasana is indeed like finally getting back home after a long journey. Getting to this state does not follow a prescribed path. I can't remember the moment, or even the month or year that I actually noticed that I was "all in" during Savasana. I do know that every practice I listened to my teachers. I let them guide me into Savasana: "let it go", "take a deep breath", "relax your mind." And eventually the words became my own, the message a part of me. One big hump of the holidays is over, but there's still the new year to get through. I want to be "all-in" for it. I'm getting ready to go practice Yoga now. I can't wait to be in that moment of clicking my heels together. There's no place like home.......