Life is hard sometimes. Everyone has those days where getting out of bed seems like a punishment. We feel pummeled by our to do list, our aches and pains, our heartbreak. We long for the comfort of hiding under the covers, pretending like if we just stay here, we can make all of the demands of the world go away. I get it. I am there. Taking inventory of the comforts each day that I wake up. Pillow, warm blankets, dogs snuggled up close, quiet, safe place of refuge.
I never hit snooze. I'm the type that is always wide awake 10 minutes before the alarm. Normally, I say prayers of gratitude before my feet hit the ground, and then I move mindfully into action, joyful to exploring another day full of possibility. But a heavy heart changes things. Some mornings I turn over and hide under the covers, some days I drag myself into waking without acknowledging the blessings of the day. It's not that it's bad, it is simply that moving through pain changes things.
Regardless of how much I want to hide on these mornings (or full days), my practice right now is to keep showing up. I might not be enthusiastic or inspiring, but I am present. I keep getting out of bed, quietly nursing my heartache, and I keep showing up. I keep showing up to my classes, to my studio, to Teacher Trainings, and for my kids. I keep showing up to my mat, even when all I can clamor into is a supported balasana or a gentle backbend. And you know what, when I show up I feel better. Not healed, but better. I feel possible. I feel the potential to heal. I feel humbled.
I also know the marriage of asana practice with the pranic body is powerful. So some days when I surrender myself to my practice, I am able to re-vitalize my body and my mind by working in my practice to shift my energy. I use my long- time companion, asana, and apply to it the understanding and skills of shaping and moving prana, so I can bring myself back to life. Practices like these re-ignite my enthusiasm for the world around me, and allow me to hold space for my tender heart to heal. I don't use the union of asana and energetics to numb or deny the intensity of my feelings, but instead I use it to support them. Some days I give myself permission to feel deeply into the sadness and anger. I let the tears come, and I direct the flow of prana within the poses to help me let go. Some days, I explore the confusion and overwhelm of my mind, and I work with asana and prana to assimilate the thoughts and feelings in hopes of bringing clarity and perspective. My practice provides me the opportunity to be present with myself, where ever I am. And that gives me the power to keep showing up on my mat and my cushion, even when it hurts.
My practice right now is showing up for myself and for the life I've created, the good and the bad. It's simple, and it's where I truly am. My humanness laid bare, I show up as I am right now. Maybe this is the most important practice there is.