Vinyasa, a Metaphor

I can really feel the garden coming to life now. New shoots and roots come quickly, especially on the young ones. Some plants have been in the soil for a long time; they are mature and in some cases, gravity bound. Still, they are responding to nature's vinyasa; winter's long exhale is over and the earth is slowly filling its lungs. 

For me, vinyasa has long been place of poetic repose. Moving and breathing together is a meditation on the cycle of life. Can you feel how inhaling is exciting? It is a birth and a rising up to fullness. Exhale is settling, slowing, dropping into emptiness, a death of sorts. This cycle is occurring in us all the time. It's also occurring all around us, in other beings, in the seasons, the moon cycles, the rising and setting of the sun, in the plants, the stars. 

A gardener becomes wise about the nature of life. So does the yogi. Neither fullness nor emptiness is something to panic about. Our joy upon finding new shoots pushing out of the earth in springtime is a guaranteed as our down brows, empty flower beds, and introverted moods in winter. Again, this is nothing to freak out about. It is vinyasa. It is life. 

Meditative practices, like Ashtanga yoga, offer us steadiness and perspective. We can go on living, loving, acting out our many roles and fulfilling our responsibilities with spaciousness and sensitivity to the vinyasa of life. We can learn not to get stuck preferring and hanging onto only the fun stuff....grip hard and you will get in your own way. Or, put differently, it is impossible to inhale forever. Eventually, you must exhale. Or, again, put differently, no-one is in top form all the time. Even the garden needs to rest sometimes. What I am saying is that through practice (sensible, daily practice) we can learn to hold space for all of life within us. Inhale and exhale, fullness and emptiness, heaven and hell, happiness and grief. None of this need trouble us. This is life. 

Amanda FerrisComment