We are coming back to the yoga studio after lockdown and want to say, it is okay to not be okay. Many of my students know the thoughts I have on the phrase “Love & Light”. It feels so very sadly unreal to me. I suppose the reason it’s used so much is because “Honour the Darkness” probably doesn’t sell quite so well on a yogi’s Instagram page.
Life is not all love & light
But let’s face it, Life is not all love & light. Yes there has (for some people) been moments of illumination over the last 6 months but mostly there’s been a lot of grief, pain, separation, fear & loss, it has been and continues to be a very painful & difficult time for many people.
So how about we get real and stop saying phrases like “head for the light” & “be the light” and instead we deeply honour that “yes there are times in my life where I am light but actually there are also many times when I’m battling in the dark”. Mainly because society has taught me that it’s not ok to feel fear, to acknowledge sadness and grief or to express anger, so we all struggle with these things alone for fear of not fitting in. Well I’m sorry what a load of *****! because what that taught me for years, as a seeker, was, “my practice isn’t good enough”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not there yet”, “I need to keep searching”.
Who actually decided that out of all the expressions of life (in yoga we call them bhavas) these ones are positive and these ones are negative, these ones are ok to express and feel and these ones are not. Of course there was never a rule book written by the first people to inhabit this planet like that.
So, although yoga is documented as union, to yoke/bind and oneness what it actually is first, is a dissection, a picking apart of all of the conditioning and imprints of the past that aren’t true, to acknowledge & be ok with the fact that we have dark days, to be in the presence of another in their pain and darkness and to not need to move them into light but to see and be seen in our wholeness, not just the neat and tidy “everything is fine and dandy in my life” but also the raw, the messy, the “I don’t know what the hell is going from one day to the next” madness. Only then can we really begin to understand the meaning of the word yoga, of connectedness and union.
You are not the only one
Samantha & I had the beauty of witnessing true union last week on one of our yoga teacher training retreats, 11 beautiful hearts unfurling, unafraid to bare their souls to one another, to speak of their challenges, to witness themselves in one another, such a great liberation arises from knowing “I am not the only one who feels this or wants to express that”.
It’s a representation of a chapter & verse of The Bhagavad Gita, one of the most influential teachings in eastern philosophy. Chapter 6 Verse 30 says:
When he sees Me in all and all in Me, then I never leave him and he never leaves me. And he who in this oneness of love, loves me in whatever he sees, wherever this man may live, in truth he lives in me.
Coming back to our yoga studio after lockdown
This is why Samantha & I are excited to start having you back in our yoga studio for yoga classes, not because we want to create some false bubble of light but because we want you to know that we hold a space for you to be whatever you are feeling on the day, to help you recognise your wholeness even on the days when you feel like you’re falling apart. This is true yoga (union) seeing divinity in oneself and in all beings all times not just in the moments of love & light.
L.R.Knost once quoted:
“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”
That just about sums it up for me.
Welcome back to our yoga studio after lockdown, a space for you to be whatever you are feeling.