Getting My Feet Into The Messiness of Life

16 08 2009


There I was on the mat last night in a hot yoga class.

It feels like your in a greenhouse with all the windows closed, and you can cut the humidity with a knife. It felt like 100 degrees. Did I mention I don’t like hot yoga? Just the thought irritates me. It gets sticky, it gets slippery, the sweat pours down my face and while I’m trying to “embrace” the pose, all I can think of is I need my towel to wipe this downpour off and where is my energy drink?!? Well thats how it felt when I first tried hot yoga. It has become less intimidating and the heat actually can be comforting especially when its mid January and there is 10 feet of snow outside the door.

So why did I take hot yoga last night, when I could have easily just taken my regular favourite ashtanga class? I took the hot yoga class as part of my mission to get uncomfortable. Thats right, you read UNCOMFORTABLE. We sometimes need to get out of our regular routines, and get in touch with the things that don’t feel so pleasant for us at first.

I want to accept the unpleasantness and then realize I am still ok.  Just like in life when we are presented with those nasty, irritating or frustrating obstacles. I have heard how we are to embrace our challenges in order to overcome them. So thats my goal for the next while on this path.

I want to know I can feel the uneasiness and also know it will pass. I flowed into trikonasana pose (triangle pose) and wanted to unflow out of it within 10 seconds. But I stayed there, present with the moment, sweating like I have never before, eyes were burning, and yet after a few minutes there was a slight easiness. I melted into the pose and the mental construction I had placed on myself melted too. The heat began to fade and I felt more SPACIOUS, my hips opened, my hamstrings lengthened and I knew I was OK, and I allowed the thoughts to simply be there and then they too melted.

It was a short moment in class, yet it felt like I had gone into a depth of myself for what seemed an eternity. The lightness that came after the uneasiness was pure joy. It was a knowing that “I am perfect, just as I am in all circumstances in the mess of it all and even in the beauty of all that occurs. This was an immense realization.

Travelling on this path requires we take on the unpleasant, messy, often painful circumstances that arise. These are the situations we don’t want to see, feel hear or go anywhere near. AND these are the ones WE MUST get closer to and embrace with everything we have. For these are the stop signs on the path that signal to us messages that sooner or later will halt our journeyif we don’t listen.

So the theme of my life lately has been to get right into the MESS, step right into the dark and scary stuff with both feet and not look back. Its time to get messy, feel the uneasiness and then come to know that its really OK. That we won’t drown in this mud we think we see before us, that we won’t be extinguished by the pain and that if we just ride the rocky trail it soon smoothes out and brings us to a new place.

So how do we do embrace the scary stuff without losing our sanity and mind altogether? Here are some tips to get started and get into the MUD in your life!

1) Start with small obstacles, annoyances, or problems. For example your stuck in traffic, and you begin to get angry and you start to fume. Great, begin there. Feel that frustration, shut the radio off and really get into the mess. Feel all of it, with all your senses. If you just be with it for awhile, you’ll notice the feeling having less potency and it will pass. And then the traffic starts moving and your on your way home to dinner

2) BREATH- I can’t stress this enough. Breath into the mess. Feel that sticky, muddy problem and breath right into it. Feel every inhalation expand your body and create SPACE. Exhale and feel the tension dissipate. Every challenge presents this fantastic opportunity for you to connect with your breath. USE IT. It feels magical, but its very real and encourages healing. Breath in the anger, the sadness, the torment, the greif whatever it is that disturbs your peace. AND then let it out with a sigh, and a release of all tension. The mess begins to clear sooner than you know.

3) Think of the lotus flower. Its one beautiful creation that actually grows out of the mud deep from the bottom of the pond or lake. It has to grow through dark, murky , and yucky waters. It meets resistance and darkness, until finally it blossoms into the light. So we are lotus flowers here on this path travelling at times through murky waters. Eventually the light will come and once we embrace that mud, and darkness we bloom right into the light of our truest desires.

Go steady. Go strong. The mud doesn’t last forever.

Why not take a hot yoga class? If you tried it once and hated every second of it even BETTER. Its a good place to start when you want to overcome the challenges in life. Yoga is a great ticket to growth and greater awakening to the beautiful presence you already have at your disposal.  Because what you learn on the mat about yourself , can be taken right into your daily life and applied to whatever life throws at you.  Its that amazing once you allow yourself to accept what is before you.  Letting go of the resistance also becomes much easier and you find more freedom in your life experiences.

When you go to hot yoga, just make sure you bring a towel, and a big water bottle.

It only gets better and better….





3 responses

18 08 2009
Coach Nancy

I love hot yoga. I do vinyasa and find that it is easier for me to stay centered after making it a routine practice. I agree with what you have written about breathing into a challenging situation–great advice.

As a parent and a parent coach, I find that breathing when we as parents don’t feel so great and feel uncomfortable when the kids get loud is such a great practice and a gift to them.

Thank you for the nice post 🙂

19 08 2009
Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl

LOVE this! I’ve been thinking along the same lines myself. I’ve worked my way up to an hour of yoga about five times a week–and that’s coming from never having done yoga in my life! LOL

I’m still learning and loving the process. I’ve been wondering about hot yoga. So glad you’re encouraging it!

aka Raw Juice Girl

27 08 2009

Your post is right on. I do shy away from certain kinds of yoga (particularly hot yoga), and I’m guilty of maintaining serenity by avoiding the messy things in my life…which unfortunately are still lurking in the corners of my daily life…Time to step in and clean house. Thanks.

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