I’ve just returned from attending the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco. I attend this every January, and always find it to be a healing, inspiring experience. It is my opportunity to be a student, rather than a teacher – attending classes taught by some of the biggest names in yoga. I broke the mold this year and took class from teachers that I had not experienced before. This helps me to hone in on my own teaching style – what I like and what I choose not to do.
Most years, I end up in a pool of tears while holding something like a deep pigeon pose after a vigorous workout. This is so cathartic and cleansing, and the jewel of our yoga practice. Yoga is, after all, therapy for the mind and heart, using the body as the vehicle.
This year, there were no tears, but agitation and anxiety seemed to be what sprung a leak. With our economy and some personal financial setbacks this past year, my body had been harboring anxieties. So while practicing Yin Yoga, a style where you hold a floor pose for 3-5 minutes, stuff naturally bubbles up. This is irritating and at the same time, marvelous. I’m still a bit "jangly," working some of this energy out.
So it is fitting that the last words I heard read in my last class of the weekend were from Rumi:
"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."
May you embrace your many emotional guests as they arrive, and be grateful to show them the door when they leave!