“Sometimes you see an obstacle. Sometimes you see a path. It is the same.”
I’m halfway through my one year yoga challenge and I am beginning to understand the philosophy behind yoga and how yoga is just the medium of being able to understand ourselves. I bend and I see a different perspective, I get stronger and I am able to do more. And the more I look I work on myself, the more I am able to give to others.
I have gotten into arm balances and inversions. I prefer arm balances although I am not always strong enough. I never liked inversions but I practice them everyday and I no longer feel the fear of falling – I know that’s just part of the practice. Currently, I am being challenged with back bends. My back is strong but not very flexible. Whenever I bend backward, I feel my throat tighten up, I find it hard to breathe and when I come back up, I get lightheaded. In short, there is nothing pleasant for me in a backbend.
That said, I can now drop down into a full wheel from standing. I know my arms are strong enough to catch me and my back won’t break. I concentrate on my technique and getting the little adjustments just right as best I can on my own. I am still struggling with getting back up on my own but I now that will come in time. Backbends are my obstacle but deep inside, I know they are also the path to a better practice.
That’s the physical aspect of it but I think this quote is true in daily life as well. Each day, we are faced with multiple obstacles – not having enough money, unreliable transportation, losing our job – but each of these is also the path forward. Each day we get stronger and if we can change our perspective, the universe opens its heart to us.
My sister took this photo of me doing a backbend at the beach. And as I waited for her to take the photo, I was thrilled at my new view: I was looking at the beach upside down. I had been to this beach hundreds of times before and yet, I had never seen it from this perspective. It wasn’t better, it wasn’t bad, it was just different and that was a little bit refreshing. I think 6 months of regular yoga is a daily reminder to open my heart to new perspectives, to see the path where once there was an obstacle.