Sometimes it is the subtle shifts forward that propel us into our greatest understandings.
As Rumi so beautifully surmised, “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” As I stood on the shoreline watching the ocean awaken, I couldn’t help but fill my heart with the warmth of the sunrise.
Have you ever sat in stillness watching the Earth come to life? Close your eyes and envision the delicate morning sky rolling back the blanket of night to greet the delicious glow of morning. Watch the clouds cheerfully whirl away as the sun offers its radiance. Can you feel your heart aglow?
This subtle and powerful moment allows us to truly touch our hearts. The morning reminds us of the abundant adventures that remain throughout our day. These adventures willingly shift our awareness. Softly and powerfully we move forward.
A few weeks ago I had one of those awake and aware experiences of moving forward. As I drove to the beach side yoga studio, I could feel the excitement surrounding my private session with Shelly. This modern day bada** yogi was making AARP question their motives in contacting such a youthful spirit. My time with Shelly was one of transformation and growth.
Have you ever had one of those life changing yoga sessions where the Rubik’s cube of your mind matches up all of the pretty rad colors? These aha moments light up the sky of our awareness. Yoga is a breathtaking territory to embark on such rich exploration. Patanjalai reminds us in the first Sutra, “Now begins the instruction on the practice of Yoga.” Every moment is ripe with new understanding.
“What are you afraid of, Sarah?” Shelly’s intense and compassionate voice echoed off of my quivering arms in high plank. I could feel my entire body resisting her offer to move forward.
“Move forward! Atta girl. More. More. More!” Shelly’s enthusiasm had me giggling with delight.
I could feel my entire body quaking with renewal. As students of this thoughtful practice, we sometimes flow through the asanas or postures without a conscious awareness of our habits.
“Come on, Mama, shoulders over your fingertips.”
All I could echo back was a barely audible, “I can’t.” I hit my mat like a ton of bricks.
Have you ever had this experience in your yoga practice, or for that matter, in the practice of living? You reach a wall that is swirled with graffiti and the words “I can’t” encircle the bricks. We often move through the postures of life on autopilot. We create habits that emphasize our imbalances. These imbalances become key in helping us to understand that right now is the only instance that we can fully commit to and perhaps transform.
My entire week of private yoga sessions with Shelly focused on moving forward. Shoulders over fingertips in high plank. Crow pose. Handstand. Yikes—all of those poses asking me to trust that just a little bit outside of my comfort zone was freedom. My proprioception of this subtle shift was like scaling an interior wall of the Grand Canyon.
Moving forward paralyzed me, but at the end of the week I was able to see that not only did moving forward help, it was in its very essence life-giving!
As a community, we encourage one another to come to the subtle edges of our life and practice. We build up forward momentum. We practice letting go. We practice loving the process of discovery. We practice the art of being a beginner. We await the opportunity to touch our hearts rich with universal wisdom. I am so grateful for this wise bada** yogi who coaxed me forward.
As I strolled along the ocean after my session, I heard these words echoing from within my heart:
Moving forward isn’t so much about the effort, it’s about trusting the process of life.
Moving forward isn’t about following the path of resistance, it’s about riding the wave of delight.
Moving forward is being aware of habits and conditions.
Moving forward is acknowledging fear but melting into the infinite arms of love.
Moving forward is about believing in the support of new awareness.
Moving forward is living in expectancy.
Moving forward is being able to laugh at one’s self.
Moving forward is inspiring. It is a deep inner calling which is as wide and vast as the ocean.
Moving forward is not something to be explained but to be experienced.
The waves begin on the horizon and they crash in closer and closer and pretty soon without realizing it, I’ve moved forward.
Now begins the practice of yoga. Move it forward, Mama.
Author: Sarah Dickey
Volunteer Editor: Keeley Milne; Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s own