Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Impermanence of Things

I'm visiting a good friend on the other side of the country right now, and as busy as my life has been lately, it's been really nice to get out in the fresh air with sunshine and friends.  

While I'm out here I decided to catch a few yoga classes.  Between grad school and National Board Certification and life in general, my yoga practice at home is only a fraction of what it used to be--maybe one or two classes a week as opposed to the 6-8 that I used to take.  And while I absolutely adore my studio at home, I also now realize that it's always nice to get "out there" and learn from new studios and new teachers.

As I've said here many times before (you know, back when I used to write more regularly), one of the best and most important reasons I continued to practice yoga once I started had nothing to do with the physical practice and everything to do with what my studio lovingly calls the "mumbo jumbo." The teacher for today's class spoke about anicca or impermanence, and the way it ebbs and flows moment to moment through life.

Throughout class, I thought about what anicca meant to me.  The physical discomfort of a workout? The 1 minute "hard interval" on my bike? The stressful day or week or month (or, let's be honest, year) when there are a million things which need to be done at once? I (and you) can get through them because they're all temporary. And even during that period of discomfort, there are moments when the difficulty lifts. It can be hard, but it's important to take that time to enjoy the moment (however fleeting), to take a breath and be happy that just to be there, to be alive, and to be able to enjoy this ebb and flow of life. Even when there is another hill to climb or another paper to write or another challenge waiting around the next corner.  

And in that moment, I remind myself, "YOU are strong and alive and beautiful and the hard parts won't last forever. You can do it."