I have arrived where I’ve meant to be. For twenty-six days, I’ll be stretching and learning, meeting new people and being quiet, regaining my teaching voice and listening to an internal clock that is too often smothered by have-to’s and should’s.
I wonder about the paths that have brought me here. My first yoga class in Seattle in 1992ish up on Capitol Hill, inspired by my friend Julia. It rained so often. Finding parking was always a pain. We used metal folding chairs and wooden blocks. It was Old School.
The people in my class looked nothing like people in yoga classes do now – which is a pity. Some of them were fairly large. Some were older – even older than I am now! 😉 Everyone wore sweatpants and cotton t’s. There was no Lululemon, no Shiva Rea DVDs. It just felt good and helped my back, which had gotten so lousy from my commute to Microsoft and the hours of sitting in front of a computer. Only 24 years old and already sore as hell.
I’m not sure how consciously I even connected those classes to the meditation I’d started a few years earlier – sitting once or twice a week and slowly reading our way through various Buddhist teachings: The Four Noble Truths, the Eight-Fold Path. It seems ridiculous to me now that I might not have clearly seen the intersection of these two burgeoning interests — one was for my back, one for my spirit. I didn’t get how deeply they were connected.
Tonight, sitting in the big room of 65 fellow yoga teachers in training who have come from all over the country as well as England, Lithuania, Norway, and Australia, one of our teachers spoke of “landing.” Of letting the ties we’re holding to people back home. Letting go of fears. Letting go of the airplane or the highway. And LANDING here on our mats. Landing here on our path.
“The path is winding,” says a magnet on my fridge. “The path is life,” says my friend Chris. In other words, the path isn’t special – it’s not something you can get on or off – rather, you’re always on it.
Perhaps. But I do think of there being a path that runs deep in me and which I find and lose and find again.
Last week, there was a rare crystal clear, humidity-free day and I was so happy. I felt light and right and filled with clarity. It truly seemed as though I could see all the way to the beach behind my friend Kathy’s house — all 1,836 miles from Iowa to L.A. I KNEW my path. And that path meant coming here. It means loving with honesty and verve. It means mothering with patience, love and strength. It’s a path filled with many more words and writings than I can even see now but which I know are there. It’s a path that will be crooked and crazy, but I’ll be better and better at anticipating those zigs and hanging with the zags.
For the next month, it’s a path leading me inward. Leading me to my own best home. And more reports from the home front will follow. For now, Namaste.