Can you feel it? The seasons, the weather, the days are not the only thing changing right now. Our planet, and it’s inhabitants, are feeling the effects of a social, political, and environmental shift. For many people, the certainties of life that were once so well relied upon are now shifting. This is a time of great change for us all, and a time to look ahead instead of behind us, a time to see the change through yoga, our own sadhana.
The process of change can be shocking to us, whether the change is at home, at work, with family, or within. Change can leave us feeling alone, anxious, and paralyzed by our fear of uncertainty when the structure of our lives, our societies, and our minds begin to transform. As humans, our minds are our most important tool. We are constantly calculating, predicting, measuring, and analyzing everything around us. When we get to an equation that we did not predict, and that we have never encountered before, we tend to overload. We try use our old, irrelevant calculations to deal with new information, and we hit a wall.
The problem with change is not that it happens, it is that we refuse to let go of the old to make room for the new. We are given new eyes, but we refuse to see with them. We stay in darkness, in fear, and in mourning for what we used to see clearly.
Imagine you are on your way to bed one night. You go to your room, and shut off the light. For the first few moments after you turn off the light it seems as though you’ve been plunged into an abyss. You can’t see a thing as the darkness completely envelops you. For a moment, panic sets in, as the senses you rely on for safety and information are no longer available, and you stumble and fumble your way into your bed, perhaps stubbing your toe or tripping over the rug on your way. But after a few minutes in this darkness, your eyes adjust, they pick up on the tiniest lights and expand them. The room becomes visible again, despite darkness, easing our minds that we have not disappeared entirely.
If you give yourself time and release your fear of darkness, your eyes adjust, you can see through it and process your environment. Sometimes with these newly adjusted eyes, we can see new shapes in the shadows, and new beauty in ordinary objects.
Similarly, we can observe change through Yoga. Through our daily practice we can see the change in our flexibility, the comfort we have in our bodies. We experience our expanding awareness of body and mind as we observe our change through yoga. We can feel ourselves becoming more calm, more focused, and more compassionate. By making ourselves aware of this change, be accepting this wonderful change through yoga, we can begin to develop a comfort with this constant shifting of perception and physicality. Thus, we can find ourselves more excepting of not only change in ourselves and our environment, but change in the people we love, those we care about, our community, and beyond.
The only constant in life is change. If we learn to dance with that change, the potential in each moment is endless. Embrace the change through yoga. Practice your sadhana.