When someone new comes to my studio, it’s often the same scripted stories of what led them there. The general themes relate to a doctor’s gentle instruction to do so, moving through or coming out of an emotionally difficult situation, or simply realizing that they need to try this yoga thing they hear their friends raving about. They come, they sit nervously on their mat, adjusting to the smell of incense and soft lighting. They decide whether or not to close their eyes, they decide what poses to modify and which ones to feel strong in, and then in such a natural and beautiful way, the entire sensory and physical self begins to relax. And the most lovely part for me as a studio owner is welcoming this person back again and again. I’ve said it so many times…yoga finds us, we don’t find it. And when we listen to that voice that brings us nurturing and self-care, we return again and again.
One of the most impacting things we learn when we come to the space on our mat is our ability to think critically. And it’s not thinking critically about external things, problems, or relationships. The essence of the thinking part involves evaluating our whole self through the process of energy, feeling, physicality and love towards who we are as a person. Towards who we are still working on in this forward moving process. Our entire being surrenders naturally to the feeling and healing process that each pose brings us.
Child’s Pose is my space. It’s the one place I go to feel, to quiet, and to tuck away from the clutter, distraction, and ill-tempered winds that life brings my way. I have yet to fully understand the “why” behind my need to visit this pose. I just simply know that I need to. And this pose which I relate to as a friend isn’t only reserved for the yoga mat on polished hardwood floors of a studio. I’ve found this space on my living room floor where toddlers climb over me and matchbox cars roll up and down my back. In that moment specifically I’m likely hiding from the visual distraction of a cluttered living room, but still able to enjoy the dark while listening to the giggles of play around me and on me! I come to child’s pose on my bedroom floor, the door locked, hands in prayer above my head. “Dear God, here I am, use me and work through me.” I find it at the gym, it’s a quick place to re-set and give myself a pep talk before launching into a challenging CrossFit workout where my mental strength will be tested much farther than my physical strength. For all these reasons and more, child’s pose has been a good friend. It’s been a constant and healing, always faithful, and sticks around as-long-as-you-need-kind-of-friend.
As we move precariously through such a chaotic world, we rely on our faith to guide us and we rely on the lights of others to help lead and support our way. We know and hopefully remind ourselves often that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. So be tender with people. They will hurt you, betray you, use you, and love you all at the same time. Understand that their actions are simply a reflection of their own insecurities and self-work they are moving patiently through. Allow the quiet of a pose, any pose, maybe child’s pose to be your own little island of self-love and care.
When I was pregnant with my children, I never wanted to find out the sex of my babies. I wanted to fully feel the life within me and know that the small beating heart just below my own would some day end up being one of the most important humans in my life disregarding whether or not that baby would come home from the hospital wearing pink or blue. That was one of my favorite parts leading up to a birth. Picking out a girl outfit and then a boy outfit. Carefully folding both, placing them gently in the hospital bag, and smiling as I anticipated which one would find it’s way to my laundry pile over the course of the next month. It was also a way to look forward to a surprise. A great, momentous, and life-impacting surprise. And it’s a good surprise. Too often in life we are handed challenging and unexpected surprises. A unsuspected bill in the mail, the news that a dear friend is sick, the sudden loss of a job, or a relationship change. But the good surprises are the ones we need to hold onto. We need to because they are the ones that level out the playing field with the bad ones. With that being said, look forward to the discoveries of self you make when coming to poses you love. And just as I feel in my child’s pose and maybe you might feel in a Warrior Pose, be open to self-discoveries through your new-found ability to examine who you are in a critically and loving way. It’s in these moments that we need to smile, we need to embrace the belief that something good is coming. We lean on two words that I share with you as they were recently gifted to me from a good friend. These two words…”what’s next?” What is the next good thing, the next good surprise, the next leap of faith forward that we embrace fully? The shift from defeat moves now to power and expectation. The child’s pose that often holds my heavy feelings of being overwhelmed and tired can now offer me a vision to keep pressing on because there is always a “what’s next?”
Your pose will find you just like yoga found you. And when that pose does find you, ask yourself, “what’s next?”