Spring onto your Mat!

Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul. ~ Max Ehrmann

Wow, what a month April has been! Waiting, waiting, waiting for winter’s wane to give way to spring, only to have summer cut in: soaring temperatures caused the naked trees to fwoomp blossoms and leaves.cherry-blossom-hand

Similarly, a kind of summer unexpectedly overtook the spring within to complicate my recovery: my flexibility returned way ahead of my strength and stamina. This physical imbalance flared up in the form of severe pain in the feet and calves. After ruling out blood clots in the lower legs, a brilliant team of physical therapists has been recruited to develop a viable strength and endurance program that enables me to continue to serve you during recovery. They tape my feet to create an arch support and advise me on my yoga and exercise practice. Impatience repeatedly arises in my heart: I want my strength and stamina back! 

McConnell taped feetIn your yoga practice, notice what sensations arise within your body. Look inwards. Engage in a dialogue with your body, mind and heart. Their common language is your breath. Where in your body do you feel blocked energy? How can you release the tension? Are you following your breath instead of powering through the vinyasa? Are you practicing satya (truth) and aparigraha (non-grabbing) on the mat, safely aligned and balancing effort with ease, instead of forcing yourself so deeply into a pose that your joints protest, your muscles tremble and your breath becomes labored? Are you mindfully practicing the poses that you dislike? Acknowledge the thoughts and emotions that arise in those poses, and let them go. Be gentle with yourself, and you will find the peace within.

Inner peace enables you to be the calm in the noisy confusion of life. Have you noticed how summer’s preview thawed winter’s icy hold on our region to enable spring’s softness to permeate the air and nurture the life around us? The cheery cherry blossoms have finally bloomed. Take a look around the leafy streets and parks. Can you believe that April began with naked trees? Like the trees, ground yourself with self-discipline. Watch your commitments take root and grow. The leaves and flowers may take a while to bud. Keep showing up on your mat!

Need more guidance to release the tension and find greater ease in your practice? 

© 2013 Amy Dara Hochberg. All rights reserved.