It was a grey day and after our morning studies, my son was sluggish and balking at the idea of our afternoon walk. He flopped angrily on the couch with a rather stinky expression on his face. As he put on the layers of socks, boots, snow pants, jacket, masks, gloves and hat ( there’s a lot of snow up in the Boston area right now) there were grunts, groans and a whole lot of muttering under his breath. This was going to be interesting.
What I’ve learned from my own daily yoga practice is that most often the inertia and time spent thinking about getting on the mat is often disproportionate to simply stepping on the mat. I remind myself that once I land my feet and complete the first 20-40 cycles of breath, something shifts- I feel for my pace and find my place. His journey that afternoon was no different. After sulking in the car for 15 minutes, I opened the door to unleash him into a new forest to explore. The once moody cat, after a couple of steps in plush untrodden snow metamorphosed into a supple lynx. His eyes grew bright, his chatter matched those of the chickadees, finches and tufted tit-mice above and he turned around and said, ‘mom, I am much happier in nature. I am a nature bird.’ I thought to myself, ‘yes, you are much happier in YOUR nature….-to be moving and interacting with the natural world’.
At mile 2 we came upon a sharp corner marked by a lone pine sapling. Drawing closer we saw that someone had nested small heart-shaped ornaments with the words, ‘hope’, ‘love’, kindness’, and ‘patience’ (to name a few) among the tender branches. I don’t know who thought of it or why they had chosen that exact place to share this beauty, but I want to believe that maybe they had a feeling that some person with their young child might need a boost to make it the last three quarters of a mile on a cold and snowy trek ( Possible? Yes. Probable? Maybe?). As we stood there looking at each ornament, my eyes grew teary. I felt the large, weary world shrink down into the forest to surround us with the sunlight that had etched through the clouds, the birdsong that filled the air, the majesty in the tall vertical trees, and the beauty in the kind action of a stranger to share thoughts and feelings carefully written for all to enjoy and connect.
As a community here at TYC, we are fortunate to share a lot of magic together through fiber optic cables. It may not always be that easy to arrive on the mat but certainly the lack of commute and layering up takes some of the tension away from landing in tadasana at the front of our mats. In the months ahead we’ve planted some additional signposts (in addition to our daily classes), to offer feelings of hope, love, kindness, support, patience, learning and community. We strive to make the vast, cold landscape of winter ease with more warmth, less volatility, and more awareness to the tender fragility of cells, vessels and blood that makes each one of us move, think, feel and grow.