Bikram says “you’re never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch and begin again.”

The events of the summer were a definite set back in my practice.  I don’t want to go to yoga anymore.  I don’t want to face myself on the mat, because when I’m on the mat I can’t hide from anything.  Outside the studio, I am able to distract myself.  I am able to stay very very busy, and I can comfort and distract myself with food, or company, or sleep, or work.  When I’m on the mat it’s me, and my thoughts, and my body, and my breath, and there is nothing to do but be present.  

Part of me (the rational and healthy part of me) knows that the only way through this time is to be present in it.  I should go battle it out on that mat every day.  I like to think I’m tough, and disciplined.  I would like to believe that I am the type of person who can face her demons head on instead of hiding from them and hoping they’ll disappear.  I don’t know if I am that person right now though.  I’m certainly not acting like her.

I was recently reminded of The Man in the Arena quote, by Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

The lesson in there for me, is that if I’m waiting for a perfect time to fight this one out, it’s not going to happen.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s never a good time for a challenge.  The stars will never align perfectly.  There is no magical being who is going to float down to me and tell me that I’m finally brave enough or strong enough or stable enough to go back to the mat with intention.  I just have to believe that it’s the best thing.  I have to believe that it’s not too late for me, that I’m not too bad or too sick or too anything to go back and start from scratch again.  Yoga is the closest thing I have to having a faith, and I am going to have to lean into that faith right now, and just really believe that the only way out is through the mat. No matter how much it hurts.

Yoga is always the best thing.

dispassionately yours,